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Economic impact for 2015 All-Star Game in Cincinnati could reach $80 million

Experts say Cincinnati is poised to take advantage

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CINCINNATI - A Major League All-Star Game in 2015 could be worth up to $80 million to the Tri-State economy, University of Cincinnati Economics Professor Julie Heath said Tuesday.

“Cincinnati is going to benefit tremendously,” said Heath, director of the Economics Center at the University of Cincinnati. “The greater extent that we have tourist friendly destinations, like the Banks, like the museums, like the Freedom Center, we can really maximize the impact of an event like this. And I think we have those outlets in Cincinnati.”

More than 150,000 out-of-town visitors flocked to the 2012 All-Star Game in Kansas City, Mo., generating an economic impact of $60 million, according to published reports. St. Louis recorded a $60 million impact from the 2009 All Star Game, a figure that came from applying multipliers to actual spending by fans, media and other visitors who attended the game and its associated events.

“The multiplier is different for spending on food, hotels, events at the stadium,” said Ruth Sergenian, director of research and analysis for the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Organization. “The money recirculates through the economy. New dollars (from out-of-town visitors) circulate more.”

The Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau will try to partner with the Reds to maximize All-Star impact.

“We proved ourselves well for the World Choir Games,” said Julie Calvert, the bureau’s vice president for communication and strategic initiatives. “This city has a good track record of hosting and staging national and international events.”

Sharonville Convention Center Executive Director Jim Downton said the All-Star Game will boost hotel occupancy rates in northern suburbs.

“We’ll feel that a week before the event and certainly the whole region will feel the impact of those visitors that are going to come,” said Downton. “At the end of the day, if all the downtown rooms are full, visitors to P&G and Kroger are still going to need a place to stay.”

The economic impact of the All-Star Game should be roughly the same as the $73.5 million impact of the World Choir Games because it has evolved into a week of events, not just a single game.

“A lot of the activities that occur over those five days have a lot of charitable outgrowth attached to them,” said UC professor Heath. “So, it’s not just visitors coming into the city. It’s MLB, through their charitable works, pumping quite a bit of money into the economy. And that’s not redirected money. That’s absolutely new to the region.”

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