SBJ/June 18 - 24, 2001/Other News

2004 All-Star Game joins Super Bowl in Houston

Major League Baseball owners have awarded the 2004 All-Star Game to Enron Field, making Houston the second city that will have hosted the baseball showcase and the Super Bowl in the same calendar year.

Houston, which hosted the MLB All-Star Game in 1968 and 1986 at the Astrodome, will join Atlanta as the only dual host. Last year's Super Bowl was played at the Georgia Dome, while the All-Star Game was held at Turner Field.

The selection of Enron continues Major League Baseball's trend of rewarding cities that supported new ballparks. Enron opened last season; Turner debuted in 1997. Next year's All-Star Game will be at Milwaukee's Miller Park, which opened this season.

The 2004 Super Bowl will be played at Reliant Stadium, which debuts with the NFL expansion Houston Texans in 2002.

"It's amazing to think how far Houston has come in five short years since we narrowly passed ... to build both a ballpark and a football field," Astros owner Drayton McLane said.

McLane said the new venues have revitalized the city's downtown area and the two marquee events should provide an economic stimulus. Past Super Bowls have generated about $250 million in local spending, while recent All-Star Games have averaged about $50 million.

The All-Star Game is usually played on the second Tuesday in July and is preceded by two days of games and events. On the field, MLB stages a home run contest and a game between baseball's top prospects. Off the field, thousands of fans attend FanFest, a showcase of the game's traditions.

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