WASHINGTON — The next Major League Baseball All-Star Game is a full year away, but D.C. officials, along with the Washington Nationals, are already gearing up to host the Midsummer Classic.
The game and all its festivities, including the Home Run Derby, will be held at Nationals Park in July of 2018.
The last time baseball’s All-Star Game was played in the District was 1969.
“We expect to fill up our hotel rooms and our restaurants,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “People will come to the city for days in advance and probably for days after that.”
Bowser attended an event Wednesday along with a group of Nationals all-stars and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, unveiling the logo for D.C.’s game. It is red, white and blue with stars and features the U.S. Capitol dome.
“There’s no better stage for D.C. to kind of show this new stadium we have, the area surrounding it and this awesome fan base that has grown with us than the All-Star Game,” said Nationals all-star Ryan Zimmerman. “I can’t think of a better city to showcase it than this one.”
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, the group’s vice president of sales and services. “The game actually means between $50 and $60 million in visitor spending to the District.”
Gameday alone would generate $34 million, according to the group. The rest of the money is expected to come during weeklong festivities.
The event, in particular, will be an economic jolt for Ward 6, which includes Navy Yard and Nationals Park.
“It can have a huge impact,” Bowser said.
The mayor indicated that transportation adjustments, such as extending the hours of Metro, would be made to accommodate the large crowds.
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