MLB All-Star Game Wraps With Record Fan Fest

15 Jul

Angels owner Arte Moreno signs an autograph for Patrick Kirsh of Garden Grove at the MLB All-Star FanFest in Anaheim, Calif. (VT Photo)

REPORTING FROM ANAHEIM, CALIF — The Major League Baseball All-Star Game wrapped Tuesday night, capping off a five-day baseball celebration at the home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The annual Mid-Summer Classic included two back-to-back 5,000-person parties at the nearby Grove of Anaheim, a number of sellout events at Angels Stadium including the Home Run Derby and Tuesday’s All-Star Game, and a FanFest at the Anaheim Convention Center. Aramark was the exclusive concessionaire for all events surrounding the All-Star Game

Attendance and per cap information for the All-Star Game had not been released by deadline, but reports on the FanFest indicate the event was on track to have a record year.

“Friday, the FanFest’s first day, broke an all-time one day record with 24,000 people in attendance,” said David Meek, GM of the convention center.

As part of the city’s bid for the All-Star Game, MLB was given the Convention Center rent-free. The league got to keep 100 percent of the gate revenues, with tickets running $30 per adult and $25 per child.

“There is definitely an upside for us,” said Meek. “We got to keep the food and beverage, and we brought in about $180,000 from parking. The estimated economic impact to the city was $84 million.”

Once inside the FanFest, visitors were treated to three expo halls of baseball-related attractions. Dozens of players were on hand signing autographs and taking pictures. A miniature baseball diamond was constructed in the middle of the convention center with popular team mascots playing home run derby, while a mock locker room gave youngsters a taste of a professional clubhouse. The 2010 World Series trophy, created by Tiffany & Co., was on display, as was Angels owner Arte Moreno, who spent several hours taking pictures with fans and attendees.

FanFest included 104 exhibits and artifacts from the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, including a giant map of AA and AAA minor league teams in North America. Sponsors like Fox News, New Era Hats, Sony PlayStation and Progressive Car Insurance had booths, as did a number of memorabilia dealers. Booths were priced between $5,000 and $10,000 for spaces from 10 by 10 feet and 10 by 20 feet.

“We get a lot of feedback from our sponsors because we estimate that most fans spend approximately four hours going through FanFest,” said MLB spokesperson Dan Queen. The entire event takes over 100 trucks for load-in. — Dave Brooks

Interviewed for this article: David Meek, (714) 765-8951; Dan Queen, (212) 931-7878

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