Officials Say MLB All-Star Game Set to Boost Metro Economy

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It has been 39 years since Kansas City has hosted the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, but the event coming to Kauffman Stadium in July is a much bigger event than it was in 1973.

The now five-day long event includes an interactive baseball theme park that is expected to draw over 100,000 people to Bartle Hall starting on July 6th, a charity 5k run, the All-Stars Futures Game, All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game and the Home Run Derby, in addition to the All-Star Game itself.

The event may be the biggest money-maker for Kansas City since it hosted the NCAA Men's Final Four in 1988.

"It's $60 million for local vendors, hotels, restaurants, business owners, memorabilia distributors, it's a tremendous impact on the local economy," said Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders.

Tickets for many of the paid events start at hundreds of dollars, and tickets for the Fan Fest are already selling out. But MLB and local officials say that they want to make sure that no one is left out of the fun. There will be a free red-carpet parade through the Country Club Plaza on the day of the big game where anyone can get close to the best players in baseball for free.

"It's absolutely critical that we do something that's available for anybody regardless of where they live, their ability to buy a ticket or anything else," said Kansas City Missouri Mayor Sly James. "This is a city wide party. Everybody ought to be able to come in and have a little fun with it. I think that's a perfect thing to do."

MLB officials say that the events will also generate $3.5 million for community projects and charities, with most of that money staying in the metro area. But Kansas City Royals owner David Glass says that you can't put a price on the lifelong memories the game will create for fans.

"A lot of people who will be at this game were not born in 1973, so it's a one time experience for a lot of them, so I'm really excited," said Glass.

Click here for MLB All Star Game ticket information.

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