82nd Annual MLB All-Star Game
Arizona catches a much-needed break this summer when the 82nd Major League Baseball All-Star Game rolls into Chase Field in Downtown Phoenix in July.
“It’s a big year for the Diamondbacks,” says Derrick Hall, president of the Arizona Diamondbacks. “We have the opening of the new spring training complex, the All-Star Game, which we wanted for so many years, and the 10th anniversary of that World Series from 2001.”
The Diamondbacks winning the 2001 World Series is significant for several reasons: it was an incredible moment in Arizona sports history, it benefited the local economy as media exposure put Metro Phoenix in the national spotlight and those who came pumped millions into the state’s coffers.
But since that memorable fall — the series went to a deciding seventh game at Bank One Ballpark, now called Chase Field — Arizona has been hit hard by the recession, with the summer months bearing most of the brunt.
The All-Star Game couldn’t have come at a better time. The festivities surrounding it — the Home Run Derby, Futures Game, Legends & Celebrity Softball Game and FanFest at the Phoenix Convention Center — will open the event to thousands of fans and inject nearly $67 million into Arizona’s economy.
This approximation includes money spent by All-Star Week visitors, including sponsors from MLB, on lodging, transportation, food and any other accumulated costs from visitors’ stays in the Valley and Downtown Phoenix.
Hall says with FanFest taking place downtown, All-Star Week will also create some jobs.
It is estimated that more than 100,000 visitors from all across the country will attend, with past All-Star Games filling
between 14,000 and 16,500 hotel rooms in host cities, which should boost hotel business in Downtown Phoenix.
In addition to the throng of fans, sports-related programming and national outlets such as the MLB Network and ESPN’s Baseball Tonight will be broadcasting live from Phoenix, spotlighting the Valley with tremendous media exposure.
The 2009 All-Star Game in St. Louis was covered by more than 2,000 broadcasters, writers and photographers and reached a television audience of more than 14.6 million viewers in 230 countries, according to Major League Baseball.
“To put this exposure in perspective, consider that corporate sponsors attached their names to various All-Star events in 2009 realized more than $38 million in media values,” says Scott Dunn, communications consultant for the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Now consider that Greater Phoenix’s brand will be implicitly connected to every All-Star event.”
Hall says he hopes this will prompt more tourism to the area in the future, as well.
“We’re going to have a lot of visitors coming for the first time, coming in from all over the country, just as they did for the World Series,” Hall says. “I want them to be blown away at the friendliness and knowledge of our staff, the beauty, comfort and safety of our building … we’re going to showcase some initiatives we have that no other teams do.”
The media exposure and the out-of-state visitors’ low expectations, especially regarding the temperatures, should have been two factors that made Hall sweat, but he and his staff are well prepared.
“According to feedback from MLB, we’ve been more organized and more proactive than any other team MLB has dealt with,” Hall says proudly. “We’re taking the initiative in each and every area.
“It’s their show, but they’ve accepted most of our recommendations; they’re really pleased with our efforts. Our results should be good if not better than any other All-Star Game.”
While Hall and his staff have their bases covered, it wasn’t an easy task bringing the All-Star Game to the Valley, especially during the summer months.
Improvements and additions to the stadium were made in order to eliminate any major concerns. In addition to renovations, including the upgrading of the video board, stadium lights and party suites specifically for the All-Star Game, a shade structure with solar paneling has been built at the entrance of the stadium in partnership with APS.
Also benefiting will be Valley charities. A number of groups recommended by Hall will receive proceeds associated with some of the events to the tune of $1.5 million to $2 million.
“I’m hoping the community supports this just as a point of pride,” Hall says. “This is something every team wants, but not every team gets. Let’s really take advantage of having the game here; let’s be proud.”
If You Go to the MLB All-Star Game
401 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix
July 12, 2011
Tickets: (602) 514-8400
All-Star Week Schedule:
July 8-12: All-Star FanFest at
Phoenix Convention Center
July 10: All-Star Futures Game
& All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game
July 11: All-Star Workout Day
at Chase Field featuring the
Home Run Derby
July 12: 82nd MLB All-Star
Game at Chase Field