ALL-STAR ANTICIPATION: Target Field to host in 2014 - KMSP-TV

ALL-STAR ANTICIPATION: Target Field to host in 2014

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

The mid-summer classic, baseball's star-studded showcase is getting under way in New York -- but all eyes will be focused on Target Field next summer when the All-Star teams come to town.

The 2014 All-Star game will mark the third time the event has been held in Minnesota. It seems to be a once-in-a-generation thing for the state. One game was held at the old Met, another at the Dome, and the new ballpark will soon get its chance to shine its spotlights on the best of baseball.

For the city, the midsummer classic means big bucks -- a $75 million infusion for the local economy.

"It's going to be very exciting," said Kristen Montag, a spokeswoman for Meet Minneapolis, the official Minneapolis convention and visitor's association.

Montag's group projects about 160,000 visitors will descend on Target Field and downtown Minneapolis next July for the annual extravaganza.

"We know we can host them and we're excited to bring sports fans back to Minneapolis for this event," she said.

Nearly 30 years ago, the Twin Cities rolled out the red carpet for baseball royalty before watching the best of baseball play a game under the Metrodome's Teflon roof.

"I was there for the home run contest -- day before," recalled Steve Ridgeway, a baseball fan from Cottage Grove. "I didn't go to the game, but a friend and I were out catching the homeruns in the left field seats out there."

Local baseball historian and author Stew Thornley also watched some of the 1985 game. The Metrodome was still in its infancy when the Twins were chosen to host, and Thornley says there was a buzz about the new digs.

"People were excited about it," he said. "People have heard about Target Field, but here's finally the chance to show the stadium off. People will see what a nice facility it is."

The Twins are surely looking to capitalize as well. With the team struggling on the field over the past few seasons, the franchise is trying to retain and grow its fan base by tying season tickets to All-Star festivity access.

A spokesman for the Twins told FOX 9 News the plans are still being worked out, but he expects customers who invest the most will get the first crack.

While the Twins conceded that not all of the fans will be able to get into the All-Star game, but the team is promising to open up much of the nearly week-long event to the entire community.

For now, the Twins and Meet Minneapolis tourism office have sent staff members to study the festivities in New York City to prepare for next year.

Tuesday's All-Star game will also be broadcast live, with coverage starting at 6:30 p.m. on FOX 9. A special edition of FOX 9 News will follow the game.

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