All-Star game means big bucks for D.C.

WASHINGTON — The announcement that Nationals Park will host an Major League Baseball All-Star Game is a boon to businesses in D.C.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred Monday announced Nats Park will be the site of the 2018 midsummer classic.

“The best sporting event of the summer, which will be held one decade after the opening of Nationals Park, will add a new chapter to the long and distinguished baseball tradition in Washington, D.C.,” said Manfred.

The last All-Star Game held in Washington was in 1969.

The game and all its festivities will draw huge crowds and big bucks to the local economy.

According to figures from the tourism group Destination DC, visitor spending will add up to tens of millions of dollars.

“It impacts every facet of our city from hotels to restaurants, attractions, retail and transportation,” said Melissa Riley, vice president of sales and services with Destination DC.

“The game actually means between $50 and 60 million in visitor spending to the District,” she says.

Gameday alone would generate $34 million, according to Destination DC. The rest of the money will come during weeklong festivities surrounding the 2018 All-Star Game.

The game will be an economic jolt for Ward 6, which includes Navy Yard and Nationals Park, says D.C. Council member Charles Allen.

Allen says the area is in the midst of a revitalization, and the idea of preparing for the weeklong event that draws fans from around the nation will only spur more development.

“You see a lot of cranes. Over the next couple years, you’re going to see a lot more. This area has really done well and is going to do, over the next couple years, an incredible amount of development,” Allen says.

A new development project breaks ground next week near the park and there is much more to come, he says.

Cincinnati will hold the All-Star game this year, followed by San Diego in 2016, then Miami in 2017.

When Miami’s turn was announced in February, MLB said leagues will continue to alternate who bats last, no matter what city is host. So the AL will bat last in the 2016 game at San Diego and in the 2018 game at Washington.

WTOP’s Megan Cloherty and Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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