Costs of All-Star game in Minneapolis could go out of the park

  • Article by: ERIC ROPER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 26, 2014 - 10:30 PM

But … Minneapolis’ take could be $75 million; city isn’t disclosing expenses.

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“Peanuts” comic strip characters on display in Rice Park in St. Paul capture the mood leading up to the All-Star Game.

Photo: MARLIN LEVISON • mlevison@startribune.com,

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Costs for five days of All-Star Game revelry are adding up for Minneapolis, but city officials are not willing to disclose the total price tag just yet.

The initial tally for additional security, street closings, traffic control and food inspections for the July 15 game and hoopla surrounding it is about $119,000. But that total does not include police overtime, which the city’s Police Department declined to estimate.

Another big unknown: the financial arrangement underlying Major League Baseball’s use of the city’s convention center for a five-day FanFest. City officials would not release terms of that agreement. Minneapolis spokesman Matt Laible said that it still had not been signed.

The city’s tourism bureau, Meet Minneapolis, and the Minnesota Twins have also both refused a Star Tribune request to release the Twins’ bid to host the game.

About 160,000 out-of-town fans will be flooding the city that week. Bars will stay open later and events include a five-day beer-and-music block party and a massive baseball fan convention.

Other cities offer a snapshot into the likely costs. Kansas City budgeted about $900,000 to host the game in 2012, including police overtime and the cost to demolish dilapidated buildings along a roadside on the way to the ballpark. San Francisco police anticipated $500,000 in overtime and other expenses in advance of the 2007 game.

Aside from police costs, the city expects to spend the most money on overtime and other costs relating to street closings and parking — about $83,000. Food safety training and inspector overtime will cost about $16,000, with another $10,000 expected for traffic control. The Fire Department expects about $10,000 in overtime costs, barring a major incident.

At a news conference this week highlighting foot, bicycle and horse patrols the Police Department plans to use, Chief Janeé Harteau said she would provide costs only after the event.

Police spokesman John Elder said the rest of the city will be protected with normal levels and officers from around the Twin Cities are expected to pitch in.

“This is really going to be a showcase of law enforcement throughout the five-county metro area,” he said.

Meet Minneapolis is predicting that the game will bring in about $75 million for businesses in the city. That’s more than double the city’s $32 million take from the 2008 Republican National Convention, which was hosted in St. Paul.

4 a.m. bar closing for some

Thirty downtown bars have gotten special permission to remain open later on the night of the game itself, due to a special law passed by the Legislature this year, according to the city’s business licensing department. Bars can stay open until 4 a.m., rather than the normal 2 a.m., if they obtain a permit from the city.

The MLB and Twins also have asked that 6th Street from 1st to Hennepin Avenues be closed for a five-day block party. Renderings submitted to the city show that the block will house a 4,800-square-foot Target store, Clydesdale horses, corporate tents, a Budweiser brewmaster, DJs and food trucks.

Laible said the convention center agreement, including basic details like whether the MLB is paying rent, is not public under a state statute that protects negotiations between public venues and prospective event hosts. That same statute was used to protect the All-Star Game bid and 2018 Super Bowl bid.

No police, deputy estimates

Attorney Mark Anfinson, an open records law expert, said that the convention center agreement should be public as soon as it is finalized. “The terms of an agreement, they don’t get to withhold that,” Anfinson said.

Jennifer Johnson, a spokeswoman for the Hennepin County Sheriff’s office, said she could not provide estimated overtime costs because it would be speculative. The office expects them to be minimal, however, because most of the deputies are working during their regular shifts.

Martin Van Buren, EMS director for the county’s Medical Center, said more paramedics and ambulances will be at the ready for the events.

 

Eric Roper • 612-673-1732

Twitter: @StribRoper

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