MLB's All-Star game expected to bring fans with cashby Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio
MINNEAPOLIS — City officials estimate 160,000 fans will visit the Twin Cities in summer 2014 for the Major League Baseball's All-Star game.
City and county leaders joined Minnesota Twins officials and baseball commissioner Bud Selig Wednesday to announce that Target Field will host the 2014 All-Star game.
As the name implies, an All-Star game pits the best players from baseball's two leagues against each other. Fans vote most of the players in.
The Twins last hosted an All-Star game at the Metrodome in 1985. Minneapolis promoters were contemplating the 2014 All Star game even before construction on Target Field was completed. Mayor R.T. Rybak said the city presented a polished bid to Major League Baseball.
"The work that was done — the packet — it's not a packet, it's a massive book, that they put together of accommodations and others," Rybak said. "But that's the first step. What we're really going to do now is get focused on how do we make sure that this is a game and a whole lot more. It really needs to be a place where the whole community feels welcome, where there are lots and lots of folks who come in and spend, frankly, lots and lots of money."
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said the choice of Minneapolis is easy, in part to show off Target Field, now in its third season.
"I knew a long time ago where the 2014 All-Star game was going to be," Selig said. "Awarding the All-Star Game we have lot of cities lined up, and the competition's enormous. This one gave me a lot of pleasure. That was because of the Twins and the fans here."
Selig said other host cities have earned millions.
"I think I can conservatively say here today that this game will produce, at a minimum, $75 to $100 million, just for those five days. It is enormous," Selig said.
Selig said another estimated $5 million will go to local charities. Minnesota Twins owner Jim Pohlad says he doesn't know how much the team will benefit, but he hopes there will be a bump in season-ticket holders who will have early access to All-Star tickets.
"When we were coming in to the new ballpark, the demand for season tickets increased because people wanted to have a good seat at the new ballpark," Pohlad said. "Presumably they might want to have a really good seat for the All-Star Game too. They get the opportunity to essentially buy their seats for the All-Star game."
Pohlad acknowledges the Twins — which has been at the bottom of the American League Central division standings most of the season — could use the help.
"We've got two years, so we have the whole  season and half of the  season to turn the performance around," Pohlad said. "But ultimately, I mean, it is performance, over like an All-Star game, that's going to give the incremental ticket sales a boost."
Pohlad says there will be some changes to Target Field to better showcase the 40,000-seat stadium during the game, scheduled for July 15, 2014, but he was not ready to say exactly what those are.
- Morning Edition, 08/30/2012, 7:45 a.m.