Bring All-Star events to campus

In preparation for the Vikings, the University should host events for MLB’s All-Star week on campus.

Though it may be hard to imagine in the dead of winter, Minneapolis will be a hub of national entertainment this summer.

In July, Major League Baseball’s premier players will travel to the Twin Cities for the 2014 All-Star Game at Target Field.

The four-day event will begin with FanFest on July 11 and conclude with the All-Star Game on July 15. Because festivities will be taking place around the city, the MLB requires the host to outline “clean zones” where the league is given authority over all events, sales, vending and signs.

Ward 7 City Council member Lisa Goodman has introduced a resolution giving the MLB authority over certain areas of the city, which would include the University of Minnesota’s major sports facilities and parts of Stadium Village, the Minnesota Daily reported Feb. 13.

Minnesota Twins President Dave St. Peter told the Minnesota Daily that University facilities could be used for the week’s events. TCF Bank Stadium could be used for a free concert open to the public.

The news of campus potentially hosting All-Star events comes as the Board of Regents approved plans for construction on TCF to accommodate the Minnesota Vikings’ arrival this fall.

University officials should encourage the MLB to use its facilities — in particular, TCF — for All-Star events. The $288 million stadium is a great place to host events during the summer and should be utilized as much as possible.

Bringing All-Star events to campus would also provide the University with an early look at potential issues that could arise as campus hosts a professional sports audience.

It is important that the state benefits as much as possible from its stadium investments. The University should encourage the MLB to use its facilities for the All-Star Game’s jam-packed week of festivities.