All-Star Game announcement scheduled for Wednesday

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 28, 2012 - 3:09 PM

 The Twins and Target Field landed the 2014 All-Star Game. The commissioner will make it official Wednesday.

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Target Field.

Photo: Jim Gehrz, Star Tribune

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UPDATE: the Twins announced Tuesday afternoon that a 4 p.m. Wednesday press conference has been set for Target Field "to make a major announcement" about an upcoming event at Target Field.

Commissioner Bud Selig will be among those participating in the All-Star game announcement, which will be held just inside Gate 34 -- the entrance that leads on to the outfield concourse -- at the ballpark.

The Twins set a goal of bringing the 2014 All-Star Game to Target Field back in 2008, two years before the ballpark opened. Now, that goal is about to be realized.

Major League Baseball is planning a Wednesday afternoon news conference at Target Field, where Commissioner Bud Selig officially will award the 2014 All-Star Game to the Twins, according to multiple people who have been briefed on MLB's plans.

While being careful to say that nothing is official, the Twins were busy inviting several former All-Stars and other local dignitaries to Wednesday's announcement.

"We hope that [an official announcement is] imminent," Twins CEO Jim Pohlad said. "The amount of communication with Major League Baseball has picked up, but ultimately the commissioner decides."

The Twins have been host to the All-Star Game twice -- in 1965 at Metropolitan Stadium and in 1985 at the Metrodome.

"It's more about what it means to the city and the state," Pohlad said. "We're a part of this community. We're excited to bring the All-Star Game here, so we can show everyone this ballpark."

It will mark the first time the Twin Cities has been host of an All-Star game in a major professional sport since the NHL All-Star Game was at Xcel Energy Center in 2004.

The Twins first announced their goal of landing the 2014 All-Star Game on Sept. 10, 2008. Team President Dave St. Peter and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak presided over a rooftop ceremony at Target Center, overlooking the new ballpark's construction site.

In January, the Twins and the city of Minneapolis presented their formal bid to MLB for the 2014 event, detailing all the logistical arrangements they had ready, such as hotel space, transportation and convention facilities.

All along, the Twins have said the decision was in the commissioner's hands. Selig was a close friend of late Twins owner Carl Pohlad and lobbied hard to help get Target Field built.

Selig didn't officially announce that the Mets would be be hosts of the 2013 All-Star Game until this past May. The Twins are eager to get official word about the 2014 event because it help drive season-ticket sales. Teams typically give season-ticket holders first dibs on buying tickets to All-Star festivities, which include the Futures Game and Home Run Derby. All three events sold out this year at Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium.

Pohlad acknowledged that an All-Star announcement should help ticket sales, but added, "so can a team's performance. If you could pick between an All-Star Game and performance, you'd take the team's performance."

The Twins went 94-68 in 2010, their first year at Target Field. They slipped to 63-99 last year and entered Monday on a pace to finish 66-96. After drawing a franchise record 3,223,640 fans in 2010, they drew 3.17 million last year, and entered Monday on pace to draw 2.86 million this year.

No matter how the Twins perform over the next two seasons, Target Field will be the epicenter of the baseball universe for three days in July 2014.

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