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Volume 24 No. 156

Events and Attractions

The NBA announced yesterday that New Orleans has been selected to host the ’14 All-Star Game. This marks the second time the event will be held in the city, after New Orleans hosted in ’08. The game will be held February 16, 2014 (NBA). NBA Commissioner David Stern said that New Orleans “didn't need to find a new owner for its basketball team ... in order for the Crescent City to be awarded another NBA All-Star Game.” Stern said, "It was an easy 'give' by me because we had such a good experience in 2008. The city has gotten even better, if that's possible, at hosting large events. All you need to do is turn on your television sets to see that.” He added, "It was really just a question of timing. The biggest problem is where Mardi Gras drops compared to where our All-Star week drops.” In New Orleans, Jimmy Smith notes in a front-page piece that New Orleans Arena “will undergo a portion of a $50 million facelift” before the event is held in ‘14. The city already this year has hosted the Allstate Sugar Bowl, BCS National Championship Game, SEC men's basketball tournament and the men's Final Four. Super Bowl XLVII will be held in New Orleans in ’13 (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 4/17). The AP’s Brett Martel noted Mardi Gras “falls in mid-February in 2015 and 2016, so if the NBA had given the 2014 event to New York, as some predicted, it would not make sense to hold the game in New Orleans again until 2017.” Benson by that time “would be 89 years old” (AP, 4/16).

Nearly three months before the '12 MLB All-Star Game, neither the Royals nor MLB "has any seats at Kauffman Stadium left to sell before they go on sale to the general public," according to Mike Hendricks in a front-page piece for the K.C. STAR. Other than "a very limited number of standing-room-only tickets that will go up for general sale on Friday, seats are full up" for the July 10 ASG and the July 9 State Farm Home Run Derby. By some measures, the market for tickets to this year's All-Star Game is "the tightest it's been in recent years, and that's sending ticket re-seller prices into the stratosphere." A big factor leading to the limited ticket availability was the Royals' "aggressive marketing campaign aimed at building its season ticket base by promising current and new customers preference in buying All-Star tickets." Although the team "initially limited sales to one purchase per full- or partial-season ticket, the Royals later offered to sell multiple All-Star strips of event tickets, and many customers snapped them up." Prices for this year's All-Star Game "ranged from $377 to $1,077," but the Royals had "no problem selling them." The team felt that giving preference to season-ticket holders "rewarded the loyalty of longtime fans while making the packages more attractive to new buyers." Royals Senior Dir of Ticket Sales & Customer Service Steve Shiffman said that "between the promise of All-Star Game ticket preference and the hopes for the team's promising young squad, Royals season tickets have gone up" 24% in the past two years. Other factors include "the base of season ticket holders and the size of the stadium itself" (K.C. STAR, 4/17).

More than 2,100 runners "were treated Monday at medical tents along the 26.2-mile Boston Marathon course for dehydration, heat exhaustion, and other ailments as temperatures blasted into the upper 80s, shattering records,” according to a front-page piece by Johnson & Sampson of the BOSTON GLOBE. Boston Athletic Association Medical Coordinator Chris Troyanos said that the number of runners “requiring medical attention, mostly at the finish line, was 800 to 1,200 higher than during typical Boston Marathons.” He said that “152 runners were treated at hospitals, and that eight to 10 runners were in critical condition at some point.” Hospital officials credited “warnings to runners by race organizers and advance preparation for making the race safer.” Still, Johnson & Sampson note, “Significantly more runners than normal, 14 percent, failed to pick up their numbers for the race, presumably because of the heat warnings.” BAA Dir of Communications Jack Fleming said that “3,863 people did not pick up their numbers over the weekend to race.” Of the “22,426 runners who did pick up numbers, 427 opted to defer for a year.” Fleming said that “nearly 96 percent of those who started the race finished, compared with 98 percent in a typical year” (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/17). In Massachusetts, David Riley notes “many runners seemed to heed warnings about the weather.” Many at the Hopkinton starting line “swapped tips on heat and hydration, swigged Gatorade and toted salt … to replenish the electrolytes they would lose along the punishing 26.2-mile route” (Taunton GAZETTE, 4/17). In Boston, O’Brien, Smith & Stout report, “One Boston Marathon runner suffered a heart attack and three others were also sent to hospital critical care units.” Dr. Pierre D’Hemecourt, who served as the director of the medical tent at the finish line, said that one woman “suffered cardiac arrest.” At least “30 to 40 runners required ‘ice water immersions,’ a medical procedure in which their entire bodies were placed into an ice bath” (BOSTON HERALD, 4/17).