Twins vying to host 2014 All-Star Game
Club hoping to show off new stadium four years after it opens
MINNEAPOLIS -- On the heels of the opening of their new ballpark in 2010, the Minnesota Twins are making a bid for the Major League All-Star Game in 2014.The club announced its intent to present its case for hosting the All-Star Game on Wednesday on the roof of the Target Center, which overlooks construction of the new ballpark. After recently hosting the Republican National Convention, the city wants to become a player for major sporting and corporate events. "We could and should again get back in the business of being America's best host," Mayor R.T. Rybak said. "So this community that has just successfully come off hosting the Republican Convention is now going to go after the All-Star Game for Major League Baseball." The Twins hope to soon make their pitch to Major League Baseball. "Working with Major League Baseball to secure an upcoming All Star Game is a top priority for the Minnesota Twins organization," president Dave St. Peter said. "The Twins have a successful history of hosting the Midsummer Classic, and with our new, world-class ballpark opening in 2010, we know we can hit a home run for this community and for Major League Baseball." The club is estimating that hosting the All-Star Game will bring in a total of $52.3 million to the Twin Cities. This includes an estimated 90,000 fans in attendance for the All-Star FanFest and 40,000-plus for the Future Game, the Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game itself. An estimated 40 percent of those customers would be from out of the area. Additionally, there would be about 2,000 media outlets covering the event. All-Star festivities run from Friday to Tuesday, with the Futures Game and Legends & Celebrity Softball Game on Sunday, the Home Run Derby on Monday and the All-Star Game on Tuesday. All-Star FanFest activities occur throughout the five days, including a major concert on Saturday. The All-Star Game is just one piece of a continuing effort by leaders to attract big events to the area. Meet Minneapolis, a non-profit organization, actively promotes the Minneapolis area as a venue for conventions and meetings and markets the city as a tourist destination. The organization is currently courting 49 city-wide conventions and events, such as the NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four and the National Education Association. All 49 events could draw 218,000 attendees who would spend an estimated $247.9 million in the Twin Cities. Leaders are more confident than ever in their ability to host a major event after the Republican Convention. "Last week was without a doubt a big win, it was also a try out as the eyes of meeting planners, attendees, delegates and journalists experienced how we hosted a convention of such size and high-visibility," president and CEO of Meet Minneapolis Melvin Tennant said. American League teams host All-Star games in even years, but the Twins elected not to pursue the 2012 contest. "We felt from an organization perspective and in consultation with Hennepin County and the mayor, that 2014 was the right time for us to focus," St. Peter said. Twins legend Tony Oliva also spoke at the event, quipping that he hoped he was still around in 2014 to see the event. Ryback, playing to the crowd, reminded the throng of media and executives that Minneapolis could be hosting a big-time Major League Baseball event in the very near future. "We also are going to have another opportunity coming in two months when the World Series comes to downtown Minneapolis, and I believe we are ready to not only host the All-Star game, but the World Series this year," Ryback said.
Thor Nystrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.