CINCINNATI - The Reds kicked off their celebration and countdown for the 2015 All-Star Game Wednesday by unveiling the logo that will be displayed around town and on official All-Star wear and souvenirs.
The game will be played July 14 at Great American Ball Park.
All-Star Game wear and souvenirs are on sale now at the Reds shops at the ballpark - the only place to buy official All-Star gear during an exclusive five-day selling period through Aug. 10.
All-Star Game merchandise on sale at Reds shops at Great American Ball Park. (Photo by Ron Fischer/WCPO).
No ticket information was announced, although Reds officials have said season-ticket holders probably will scoop up all of the tickets allotted to the club.
Reds owner Bob Castellini, MLB Executive Vice President Tim Brosnan and local dignitaries took part in the ceremony Wednesday morning at Great American Ball Park.
The last time Cincinnati hosted an All-Star game was in 1988 at Riverfront Stadium. The Reds also hosted in 1970, 1953 and 1938.
“We’re going to put on one of the best, well-organized, efficient (All-Star weeks) as you can,” Reds COO Phil Castellini told WCPO recently. “The ability to walk all over downtown Cincinnati with not a lot of effort, the proximity of our hotels to both the convention center and the ball park, all of that’s going to make the execution of an event this complicated a lot easier.”
The 2015 All-Star-Game logo.
Cincinnati economists have estimated next year’s event could be worth up to $80 million for the Cincinnati economy, as spending by up to 150,000 out-of-town visitors ripples through restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions.
Major League Baseball has turned its annual All Star Game into a week-long baseball convention, with events that go beyond the game, including a Home Run Rerby, a huge private party called the All Star Gala, a Major League Futures game that showcases minor league talent, a celebrity softball game featuring former major leaguers, a free concert that draws up to 30,000 people, a 5-K fun run and a fan fest similar to the Reds Fest that Cincinnati hosts every winter.
Pete Rose got approval from Commissioner Bud Selig to participate. The Reds haven't announced how they will involve Rose, who was banned for baseball in 1989 for gambling on Reds games.
The impact of the game will not be limited to the events of next July.
The Reds are working on concession upgrades at Great American Ball Park that could be announced in the next few months. They have a list of stadium upgrades now in search of corporate sponsors. If deals get done, they’ll be added to the list.
“We tend to dream up a lot of things and only get to do a portion of them,” Castellini said.
The Reds Community Fund will partner with Major League Baseball to increase local spending on projects like the Urban Youth Academy in Roselawn and the community makeover recently announced for the Millvale Recreation Center and the nearby Wayne Ballfields.
“We’ll invest a couple million dollars in the community above and beyond what we traditionally do as the Reds Community Fund,” Castellini said. A partnership with the Boys and Girls Club is possible, as is a community improvement project that involves veterans.
“We’ll orient dollars to the projects and try to get those built out before next July,” Castellini said.
Finally, the Reds will try to bundle season ticket packages with All Star tickets next year to produce a revenue and attendance bump.
“Hopefully, it’s sustainable,” Castellini said. “In some towns where the All Star Game is hosted by a team that isn’t competitive, you sometimes see a dip in attendance a year or two after the game. We hope to not have that problem here.”