Cleveland Hopes All-Star Game Success Leads To More Big Events
The city of Cleveland hopes that hosting the '19 MLB All-Star Game last week was "merely a stepping stone to other major events," as "successfully staging a major event forms a city's reputation," according to Marc Bona of the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER. Cleveland is currently in the "nascent part of a five-year hosting run," with the NFL Draft ('21), NBA All-Star Game ('22) and NCAA Women's Final Four ('24) all set to take place in the city. Indians Exec VP/Business Dennis Lehman said that the "convergence of multiple variables worked in Cleveland's favor to stage the All-Star Game." The city of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County "became involved early, and having a giant convention center and recently built hotels helps attract large-scale events." Lehman said, "If we didn’t have them they would not be coming back." Greater Cleveland Sports Commission President & CEO David Gilbert said that three years ago, the city "drew praise for its handling of the Republican National Convention." Gilbert said the RNC became a "tremendous calling card for us." Bona noted part of Cleveland's "potentially enduring platform will be the Legacy projects," as MLB and the Indians invested about $5M in "various field-renovation projects in Cleveland." Lehman even said that in the aftermath of the All-Star Game, if he had to "do it over again, he would try to do more legacy projects" (CLEVELAND.com, 7/12).