U may host MLB All-Star Game concert

All-Star Game festivities are in the works for TCF Bank Stadium.

by Nicolas Hallett

This summer, the University of Minnesota may host some of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game festivities.

Minnesota Twins President Dave St. Peter told the Minnesota Daily on Wednesday that University facilities are being considered for All-Star week events, potentially including a free public concert at TCF Bank Stadium. He said a decision will be made this month, with an official announcement in April.

St. Peter said the team and Twin Cities residents will be consulted for event planning, but ultimately the decision is up to the MLB. The events will take place around the Twin Cities from July 11-15, and the Twins will host the 85th annual Midsummer Classic on July 15.

“Major League Baseball’s All-Star summer has expanded greatly over the years,” St. Peter said. “It’s a much different, much bigger event than it was back in 1985 when we last hosted it, so the footprint of the event goes well beyond Target Field.”

To protect fans from ambush marketing and counterfeit products, the league requires the All-Star Game’s host to outline areas in the city known as “clean zones” where the MLB has say over licenses.

Ward 7 Councilwoman Lisa Goodman introduced a resolution Tuesday that proposes giving the MLB the authority to have a say in all events, sales, vending and signs within the designated zones during the month of July.

The University district’s clean zone covers all of its major sports facilities and portions of Stadium Village. The city’s two additional clean zones will encompass a swath of northeast Minneapolis and all of downtown.

The restrictions “ensure that the focus of the entire event remains on the fans, athletes, coaches, and the game of baseball,” according to the resolution.

Ward 2 Councilman Cam Gordon said he hasn’t been briefed on the resolution but is concerned about giving decision-making power within the city to the baseball league.

The full City Council will hear the resolution Feb. 21.

“These are very common for major civic events like this,” Minneapolis Manager of Business Licenses Grant Wilson said. “We’ve used them in the city several times.”

Wilson said a clean zone license will vary by type and cost $100 to $500. He said the University won’t have to do anything differently by being placed in a clean zone, and the area was placed in the zone with a potential concert in mind.

Chris Werle, associate athletics director for strategic communications, said the Twins floated different ideas, but nothing is currently planned for any of the University’s facilities. He said the clean zone is a precautionary move in case the school is tapped to manage an event.

“Nothing has been agreed upon yet,” he said. “But we’ve talked about different entertainment type things or things for their sponsors.”

All of the 2014 MLB All-Star Game events, including FanFest at the Minneapolis Convention Center, will take place around the Twin Cities from July 11-15.