Reds' All-Star Game Could Cost Taxpayers $5M For Ballpark Improvements
Landing the '15 MLB All-Star Game "was a coup" for the Reds and the Cincinnati region, but it will come with a $5M "price tag to fix up Great American Ball Park" for Hamilton County taxpayers, according to a front-page piece by Sharon Coolidge of the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER. Hamilton County Stadium Dir Joe Feldkamp said that "many of the fixes on the list ... were being planned anyway and are just being sped up." But Coolidge asks, "Should taxpayers foot the bill to make the stadium shine or is it fine the way it is?" The costs related to the ASG are "just part of" the nearly $27M in "anticipated capital improvements over the next five years," including $6M for GABP and $21.8M for Paul Brown Stadium. The spending will "require approval by the three-man Hamilton County Commission, and at least one, Republican Greg Hartmann, is skeptical." Hartmann said, "I think it's unfair to ask taxpayers to pay more than the leases call for and more than is feasible. It's great that we got the All-Star Game, but my decision won't be focused on one game." County Board of Commissioners President Chris Monzel said that he would "like to negotiate" with the Reds and the Bengals, hoping they could "pay for some of the improvements." The county's $5M toward GABP improvements ahead of the ASG will pay for "concrete repair, painting and waterproofing" on the ballpark's exterior. The interior needs "rust removal and re-coating of metal decks." Also needed are "updates to the public address, heating and air conditioning, security and fire prevention systems." The clubhouse, press box and Diamond Club "need waterproofing; the press box and other areas need new carpets and the kitchen needs new floors" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 7/31).
HITTING THE TARGET: In Minnesota, John Vomhof Jr. noted the Twins and MLB on Tuesday unveiled the logo for the '14 MLB ASG at Target Field, which "features a silhouette of Target Field with the downtown skyline behind it." There also is an "alternate logo that depicts the state of Minnesota" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 7/30). Twins President Dave St. Peter said that ticket prices for next year's game "likely won't be released until the fall," but added that pricing is "expected to be comparable to what was charged" for last year's ASG in K.C. In Minneapolis, Michael Rand notes tickets per MLB policy are "sold only in strips" that contain "one official game program, two tickets to All-Star Fan Fest and one ticket each to the All-Star Sunday events (including Futures Game), Home Run Derby and the game itself." A single strip in '12 ranged from $377-1,077 (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 8/1).