Countdown begins for 2014 All-Star Game at Target Field

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 18, 2013 - 12:09 AM

The baseball world will descend on the Twin Cities in less than a year.

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Target Field will host the 2014 All-Star Game.

 

That Target Field was built on an 8½-acre wedge of land in downtown Minneapolis is considered miraculous, and the resulting ballpark intimate. That snugness is part of its charm, and makes it worthy of the 2014 All-Star Game that its success has delivered.

Just one problem: The All-Star Game doesn’t do “cozy.”

“It’s a massive, massive event, about 10 times bigger than the one in the Metrodome” in 1985, said Matt Hoy, the Twins’ senior vice president for operations, and the team’s point man on the 2014 event. “It’s a little intimidating when you see what it’s grown into, how many moving parts there are. And fitting all of them into our space is going to be an enormous challenge.”

So is the clock. First pitch of the 85th All-Star Game is only 362 days away, and now that Hoy, team President Dave St. Peter and 30 other Minnesotans have returned from closely observing how the Mets staged Tuesday’s game in New York, there is a baseball term that sums up their responsibility:

Batter up.

“It’s all ours,” Hoy said. “Basically, we’ll be working on All-Star preparations every day for the next year, and believe me, a lot of days it doesn’t seem like enough time.”

That’s because, while the event was born as a showcase eight decades ago for baseball’s best players, it has turned into a weeklong festival of the game, part Shriners convention and part World’s Fair. The Twins get to stage a baseball game, but that’s merely the climax of a three-page timeline of events:

Start with a lavish invitation-only night-before gala for 5,000 VIPs — that one was held on the retired aircraft carrier Intrepid in New York. Then add in another party of roughly the same size, on the evening of the game.

No invitation to those? Well, there’s a 5K race. There’s a Habitat for Humanity project, and nearly a dozen different charity events. The Futures Game, for baseball’s best minor league prospects, attracts a near-sellout crowd on Sunday. There’s a fantasy camp for All-Star wannabes. Mascots hold a charity softball game to entertain kids, and B-list celebrities stage one to entertain TV viewers. Monday means Home Run Derby, which has grown into an event almost as big as the game itself. And then there is FanFest — “We call it TwinsFest on steroids,” Hoy jokes — which occupies nearly a half-million square feet of convention center floor space for events, autograph and photo sessions, interactive exhibits, and one of the world’s biggest baseball flea markets.

Too bad the Metrodome will be rubble by then, right?

“Oh, the Dome wouldn’t be big enough, not even close, really,” Hoy said. “We never made it part of our bid proposal.”

Decorating the town

The first event to kick off All-Star ’14 comes later this month, when the Twins and MLB unveil the event’s official logo, which will be plastered everywhere, including on the center field wall and, next year, on the shoulders of Twins uniforms. It’s also the first real public evidence of a coordinated branding effort that soon will blanket the city.

“In New York, I don’t care what you do, it has a tendency to get lost” or drowned out, St. Peter said. “We clearly intend to paint the town.”

MLB will decorate downtown Minneapolis and plenty of hotel lobbies with All-Star banners, probably the airport, too, and maybe more venues such as the Mall of America and the light-rail system. Behind-the-scenes, planning will go on for many other aspects, progress of which fills dozens of volumes in Hoy’s office.

The Twins must develop a transportation plan, for instance, to deliver thousands of visitors to the various events, and to hotels. They are organizing a parade of all-stars to the stadium, coordinating an enormous security effort between a half-dozen different agencies, and discussing traffic issues, given that it will be a normal work week at most downtown businesses. The City Council must approve a “clean zone” to prohibit ambush marketing by non-sponsors, and extra enforcement of counterfeit merchandise laws. Ticket pricing, availability and distribution is always a thorny issue — strips of tickets covering all events figure to average around $500 (though the Twins haven’t announced prices yet), and MLB sponsors and Twins season-ticket holders get dibs.

The Twins’ own schedule must be worked out, Home Run Derby and batting practice uniforms designed, tailored and merchandised, and providing perks for the many stars hired to entertain is no small consideration, either. Even the grass must be cut into an approved pattern.

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  • Matt Hoy, the Twins’ senior vice president for operations, is the team’s point man for the 2014 All-Star Game. “It’s a massive, massive event,” he said.

  • 1965: 36th All-Star GameMetropolitan Stadium

  • 1985: 56th All-Star GameMetrodome

  • Picture this in Minneapolis: Fans lined up in New York as the 2013 All-Stars made their way to Citi Field in style for Tuesday night’s game. It’s just one of the countless events the host city has to plan for.

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Kansas City - WP: J. Guthrie 3 FINAL
San Francisco - LP: T. Hudson 2
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New Orleans 10/30/14 7:25 PM
Carolina
Dallas 117 FINAL
Orlando 92
New York 80 FINAL
Toronto 83
San Antonio 87 FINAL
Houston 96
Miami 104 FINAL
Memphis 98
Minnesota 113 FINAL
Chicago 112
Phoenix 105 FINAL
Utah 100
Sacramento 93 FINAL
LA Lakers 92
Denver 78 3rd Qtr 0:34
Golden State 90
Portland 88 4th Qtr 5:53
LA Clippers 76
Dallas 3 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Tampa Bay 4 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Vancouver 3 FINAL
Colorado 7
Carolina 3 FINAL
Edmonton 6
Columbus 1 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Connecticut 21 FINAL
(18) East Carolina 31
Miami-Florida 30 FINAL
Virginia Tech 6
So Florida 17 FINAL
Cincinnati 34
Troy 13 FINAL
South Alabama 27
BYU 30 FINAL
Boise State 55
(6) Oregon 45 3rd Qtr 13:25
California 28
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Memphis
Purdue 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
(17) Oklahoma 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa State
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(22) West Virginia
Texas 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Texas Tech
Northwestern 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa
Maryland 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Penn State
Houston 1 FINAL
Chicago 2
Montreal 23 FINAL
Ottawa 17
Saskatchewan 27 FINAL
Calgary 40
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
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