Cincinnati’s All-Star Game preparations in high-gear

Published 12:52 am Monday, February 2, 2015

CINCINNATI (AP) — It might not feel like baseball season, but planning is in high-gear for this summer’s All-Star Game in Cincinnati.

Major League Baseball officials are expected in Cincinnati over the coming week to help coordinate logistics and plan for all of the All-Star Game events.

Organizers expect a full line-up of festivals, concerts and other events surrounding the game on July 14 at Great American Ballpark.

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“It’s just going to be an amazing week,” said Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley. “This city is going to shine.”

Convention officials tell The Cincinnati Enquirer that the game and events could add around $60 million to area’s economy.

Events and activities are expected along the riverfront, at the city’s convention center, downtown and at parks around the city. A street near the ballpark will be closed for the MLB Sponsor Zone, which will have interactive displays, shopping and performance stages.

Organizers say there will be plenty of events for those who can’t get tickets to the game or Home Run Derby.

“We really encourage folks to come down and experience Cincinnati,” said Phil Castellini, chief operating officer of the Cincinnati Reds.

“Use this opportunity under the spotlight of the All-Star Game to highlight what the city’s done to redevelop its urban core.”

He hopes visitors will leave with positive impressions about Cincinnati.

“This event is much bigger than just the game itself,” Castellini said. “It’s a weeklong series of events. It’s like a gigantic baseball convention.”

The Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau plans to create a guide highlighting All-Star related events and non-game related festivities for visitors.

“We have a lot going on that we feel is attractive for other events,” said Melanie Chavez, one of leaders of a committee organizing the events.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s so much bigger than the game.”

Cincinnati last hosted the All-Star Game in 1988.