|Bon Jovi Helps Kick Off MLB All-Star Week
With Free Concert In N.Y.'s Central Park
MLB Saturday kicked off its All-Star Weekend with a Bon Jovi concert on Central Park's Great Lawn, and N.Y. Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office estimated that 48,500 people filled the lawn while "many others heard the band from elsewhere in the park," according to Jon Pareles of the N.Y. TIMES. The Bon Jovi concert "started a week of baseball-themed incursions by suburban pop hitmakers to [N.Y.'s] landmarks." Billy Joel Wednesday and Friday will play the last two concerts at Shea Stadium (N.Y. TIMES, 7/13
). The free concert was presented by Bank of America, and in N.Y., Rosenberg, Aquilante & Liddy reported "most of the concert-goers ... made it in without paying a dime." Concert promoters "flooded the market with an extra 7,500 tickets Wednesday to discourage the scalpers." Online ticket agent ClikTix Friday "gave away 100 of the tickets it had for sale" (N.Y. POST, 7/13
). Also in N.Y., Fernandez & Schweber noted the concert was held to promote Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium. Free tickets to the gig were distributed this month at local ballparks, including Yankee and Shea Stadiums, and "others were given out" on MLB.com. However, having a ticket "did not guarantee a good viewing spot." A spokesperson for Bloomberg said that 67,500 tickets were distributed, but that only the first 50,000 people would be allowed on the Great Lawn. Most of the Great Lawn spots were "taken on a first-come-first-served basis," and by around 7:00pm ET Saturday night, "overflow crowds were directed to areas surrounding the lawn to watch a live feed of the concert on giant screens" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/13
). On Long Island, Daniel Edward Rosen reported the concert drew an estimated 60,000 fans. Central Park was "set up in six zones, with staff allowing 10,000 at a time to enter" (NEWSDAY, 7/13
). Tickets to the show were being sold on eBay for as much as $1,500 a pair (AP, 7/13
FANFEST: In N.Y., Joshua Robinson noted MLB's All-Star FanFest, which opened Friday at the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, was a "sprawling baseball extravaganza" that "offered everything from free autographs to stands filled with memorabilia to a home run derby among mascots." The event "seems a wild success." MLB Exec VP/Business Tim Brosnan: "If we're successful, we'll get close to 150,000 people through the doors from the opening to the closing of the FanFest." Robinson noted there seemed to be a "particular interest in the video batting and pitching cages." On the second-level of the Javits Center, "several hundred people formed what seemed like an endless queue waiting for an autograph from former All-Stars," and across from the line were "banks of baseball card dealers who came from all over the country" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/12).
|MLB Hoping To Draw More Than 150,000
To All-Star FanFest At Javits Convention Center
PARTY TIME: The large crowds surrounding much of the All-Star festivities extended to the party circuit last night, with more than 7,000 attending the MLB gala at the American Museum of Natural History on Manhattan's upper West side. More than 2,000 people attended MLB.com's party at the Roseland Theatre in midtown, with the event quickly reaching capacity, forcing bouncers to turn ticketholders away (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal).