All Star Game

by
President and CEO James A. Heeter

July 6th 2010 UPDATEMissouri Governor Jay Nixon says he’s already told his Director of Public Safety and the Highway Patrol to assist the KCMO Police Department in getting ready for the 2012 All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium  Speaking at the July Chamber Board of Directors meeting, Nixon also said he was delighted to be able to host TWO All-Star Games during his first term as governor.  And he echoed Jim Heeter’s comments (below) about the attention – and fun – the game brings to the host community.”

Blog post from June 23, 2010: I was privileged to be at Kauffman Stadium last week for the announcement by Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig that the 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be hosted by our Kansas City Royals and played at beautiful Kauffman Stadium. This is an exciting announcement for Kansas City and July 10, 2012 will be a red letter day for Kansas City baseball!

As many Kansas Citians recall, Commissioner Selig strongly suggested that an All-Star Game might be in Kansas City’s future a few years ago if voters backed a proposal to spend more than $200 million in improvements to Kauffman Stadium.

But these days, the competition to host a Major League Baseball All-Star Game is intense. For example, the Boston Red Sox pitched hard for the All-Star Game in 2012 because that year is the centennial anniversary of Fenway Park – a most notable event in Major League Baseball history. So congratulations to David Glass, Dan Glass and the entire Royals organization for their perseverance in bringing the All-Star Game to Kansas City, and thanks to Commissioner Selig for awarding the game to Kansas City and the Royals.

An All-Star Game is a great event for the city which hosts it. Because my wife, Judy, for 19 years was the Director of Business Affairs and Licensing for the Major League Baseball Players Association, I’ve had the opportunity to attend more than 15 All-Star Games in 15 different cities (she has attended even more!). We have a pretty good sense of how much fun an All-Star Game and all its activities can be for a city and how dramatically it can showcase a city to a national (and even international) audience. For a few days in July, 2012, the eyes of millions of people all over the world will be on Kansas City.

In addition to the All-Star Game itself, All-Star festivities are abundant. For example, there is always a five-day FanFest which presents an enormous collection of baseball memorabilia and interactive activities for baseball fans of all ages – this will undoubtedly be held in our Bartle Hall convention facility. Saturday night usually features a big-time concert at a venue chosen to show off the city (for example, when St. Louis hosted the All-Star Game last year, Missourian Cheryl Crow performed beneath the Gateway Arch). On Sunday, there are two events at the host ballpark – one is a celebrity softball tournament and the other is the Futures Game, an all-star game played by the top minor league players (many of whom will show up a few years later in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game). On Monday, there will be Workout Day – always fun as the Major League Baseball All-Stars spend the afternoon working out in front of the fans in preparation for the big game the next evening. Monday night, of course, is the Home Run Derby – an event which has become a fan favorite before a national audience televised by ESPN. On Tuesday evening, the All-Star Game itself is played. While all this is going on,  a series of other events and parties occur at venues that show off the city to visitors.

The economic impact of the All-Star Game is substantial. It’s estimated to bring more than $70 million to Kansas City. It will attract 15,000-20,000 visitors and an additional 1,500-2,000 members of the sports media. Not to mention the national television broadcast from Kauffman Stadium for both the Homerun Derby and the All-Star Game, and international television feeds to venues around the world.

What a great event this will be for Kansas City and our entire metropolitan region– a great opportunity to show why we’re a great city to live, work and play and, who knows, maybe the Royals will even be in playoff contention in 2012!

Thanks to the Royals for making this happen – and everyone can count on The Chamber to pitch in to make this event an enormous success and to help let the country know what a great city and region Kansas City is!

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