Major League Baseball All-Star Week kicks off in Denver on Friday and kicks off with a series of events leading up to the 91st annual All-Star Game.
The All-Star Week takes place until Tuesday and ends with the All-Star Game, which will be played at 5.30 p.m. in Coors Field. It is the second time the game has been played at Coors Field and the other time in 1998.
“This is a great opportunity for us to show that downtown is back,” said Mayor Michael Hancock. “After a long, tough year and a half, our residents and our local businesses are realizing that this is a phenomenal way to celebrate this special moment in our lives.”
The celebrations begin with the opening of Play Ball Park, a free indoor and outdoor event at the Colorado Convention Center that features meet-and-greets with players, autographs, freebies, and exercise. The park is open every day from Friday to Tuesday.
There will be an MLB All-Star 5K race on Saturday at 9 a.m. at Denver’s Civic Center Park. The race is open to all ages and includes performances by MLB mascots, live music and free refreshments.
All-Star Sunday will have a double title at Coors Field with the Futures Game and the Celebrity Softball Game. The futures game offers the best minor league prospects in the country, while the celebrity softball game will play Hollywood stars alongside MLB legends.
The very first MLB draft during All-Star Week will also take place on Sunday. The draft will be broadcast from the Colorado Convention Center starting at 5:00 p.m.
Finally, on the eve of the All-Star Games, the Gatorade All-Star Workout Day will take place at 3 p.m. and the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Coors Field at 6 p.m.
“We continue to emphasize that baseball is available to all fans and players of all ages,” said Jeremiah Yolkut, MLB director of events and planning. “This All-Star Week will once again increase our commitment to our sport.”
Yolkut said this year’s All-Star Week had as many events as in previous years, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the reduced planning time due to the short-term relocation to Denver.
The game was originally supposed to take place in Atlanta but was removed from the state in April after Georgia passed new laws, critics say, restricting access to voting. This gave Denver only 13 weeks to prepare for an event that is usually scheduled in two years.
Despite the tight deadline, city officials said they were happy to host the all-star game. Colorado Rockies President Greg Feasel said the city has been pushing for the game to return to Denver since 2015.
In addition, officials hope the expected tourism boom of the All-Star Game will help revitalize Denver’s economy after the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is about restaurants and small businesses,” said Richard Scharf, CEO of VISIT Denver. “We sat empty for almost 16 months and a lot of jobs were lost. This is really a coming out party. We are bringing employees back and there is real hope that we can employ them from now on. “
Scharf said many local hospitality companies had increased hires to prepare for more customers during All-Star Week, and over 4,000 residents have signed up to help run the week’s events.
MLB has also invested nearly $ 2 million in Denver organizations as part of the All-Star Legacy Initiative 2021, Hancock said. Organizations selected by the Rockies and the MLB include those that support children, families, military families, and communities of color.
In preparation for visitors, the Regional Transportation District will provide additional light rail vehicles and buses throughout the week.
Hancock said he expected the tourism boom to continue well beyond All-Star Week thanks to national media attention putting Denver in the spotlight. He said he anticipated a long-term surge in tourism, as seen after Denver hosted the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
“We can’t wait to see everyone here,” said Hancock. “Denver is open to business.”
For more information on MLB All-Star Week events, please visit mlb.com.