Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig will be in Cincinnati tomorrow to bring some good news to Reds fans. We know he will announce baseball's commitment to the Urban Youth Academy-and sources say he'll make Cincinnati the host of the 2015 All-Star Game.
It's been 25 years since we've hosted the mid-season showcase and a lot has changed. Local 12's Joe Webb covered that last All-Star Game and says Reds owner Bob Castellini has been lobbying for Cincinnati to host the All-Star game since he bought the team. We'll find out tomorrow if his work paid off.
A lot has changed since the 1988 game. The All-Star Game has changed, Cincinnati has changed. and there will be even more changes around here before 2015.
1988 was a long time ago. Chris Sabo was a rookie. Barry Larkin was 24 years away from the Hall-of-Fame. A different ballpark...a different era. The big fan attraction in '88 was the player's workout day. Now it's a show that lasts several days and includes a home run derby almost as big a deal as the game.
Last year, fans spent an estimated $60-million in Kansas City during All-Star week. Cincinnati, Great American and The Banks are ready for that. Says Nick Ramsey, Manager of the Holy Grail Tavern, "It's going to be unbelievable. I think the Banks is the perfect place for it and it's not even finished yet. Already got the biggest parking garage in the world underneath us. We'll have a hotel in two years by the time they play it. I think the city's going to be ready for it and it's going to be great."
Ramsey is right about the neighborhood that sprung up around Great American Ballpark. A new hotel should be finished right across from the park, plus more places to live, shop and eat. John Deatrick is the Banks Project Executive. "We should have a new building on the new garage we just finished to the west of the Freedom Center. We may actually be beginning on stuff south of Freedom way between Race and Vine Street."
Many think America is waking up to Cincinnati and could be why baseball is bringing the big show's biggest show here. All-Star talk has been a wake up call for Banks businesses. The slowest week of the season may not be so slow in 2015. "That time we can always take a break, get a breather. We'll have to go back to the drawing board and get ready. It's going to be a good month, July 2015."
The commissioner has a press conference scheduled for 2:30 on Wednesday.
Cincinnati has hosted four all-star games. The 1970 game is one of the most memorable. The game ended in the 12th inning with Pete Rose running over Ray Fosse at the plate to score the winning run for the National League.