All-Star events have grown since last stop in KC

All-Star events have grown since last stop in KC

All-Star events have grown since last stop in KC
KANSAS CITY -- When George Brett played in All-Star Games, there wasn't much going on besides the game.

"Well, the 13 games I played in, we would fly in Sunday," Brett said at Thursday's All-Star news conference. "Monday, we would have practice. Tuesday, we had the Commissioner's luncheon. Tuesday night was the game, and then we would leave town."

That has changed significantly since Brett played.

The Royals legend was one of several speakers at Thursday's news conference announcing the lengthy list of events that will take place in connection with the 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Kansas City.

In addition to the game itself, there's an entire week of activities planned.

Beginning Friday, July 6, at the Kansas City Convention Center will be the MLB All-Star FanFest. The event features more than 400,000 square feet of baseball-related attractions and exhibits.

"Outside the ballpark, and available now, are tickets for the MLB All-Star Fan Fest, which is the greatest baseball theme park in the world," said Tim Brosnan, Major League Baseball executive vice president of business. "And there is literally everything a baseball fan could want, young and old, highlighted by a steady stream of current and retired players available to sign autographs and interact with fans."

The Sunday before the All-Star Game -- July 8 -- will feature two events of interest. First is the SiriusXM Futures Game, which pits up-and-coming American prospects against a team of prospects from around the world. Alex Gordon, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas are among the current Royals players who have participated in past Futures Games.

"The thing I think I'm looking forward to the most is managing the Futures Game," Brett said. "I managed that game in Detroit [in 2005] ... and I lost. And I'm looking forward to getting my record to .500."

Following the Futures Game on Sunday will be the Taco Bell Legends & Celebrity Softball Game. The event will feature Hall of Famers, former Major Leaguers and celebrities from the worlds of film, music and television.

The State Farm Home Run Derby will take place Monday night, July 9, concluding Gatorade All-Star Workout Day. Fans can vote in the State Farm Home Run Derby Fan Poll to select three players from each league that they'd like to see participate.

In the American League, candidates include the Blue Jays' Jose Bautista, the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, the Yankees' Robinson Cano, the Rangers' Josh Hamilton, the Rays' Evan Longoria, the Angels' Albert Pujols, the Orioles' Mark Reynolds and Paul Konerko of the White Sox. In the National League, candidates include the Brewers' Ryan Braun, the Cardinals' Matt Holliday, the Dodgers' Matt Kemp, the Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton, the Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki, the Braves' Dan Uggla, the Reds' Joey Votto, the Mets' David Wright, the Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman and Justin Upton of the D-backs.

Finally, in the hours leading up to the Midsummer Classic, MLB All-Stars will take a ride down the red carpet in Kansas City.

"Baseball does something that no other All-Star Game does, and that is we parade the stars before the game on our very own red carpet," Brosnan said. "What we think is the greatest free event and access to the greatest players in the world."

The parade will take place on Ward Parkway in the Country Club Plaza area of Kansas City. Brosnan encouraged fans to get out and watch the event.

"In fact, I'm going to issue a challenge," Brosnan said. "In New York, the estimates were that we had a million people out for the red carpet parade in Manhattan. We think you folks in Kansas City and the surrounding areas can do better, so we expect a million strong the afternoon before the All-Star Game."

The amount of activities creates an entirely new experience for All-Star Game attendees compared to when Kansas City most recently hosted the Midsummer Classic in 1973.

"When I went to the All-Star Games, as George said, you went to the game and went home and that was it," Royals chairman and owner David Glass said. "Now, there's so much more to experience. There's a whole generation here in Kansas City that's never experienced anything like that. It's going to be fun for them to do the FanFest and the Home Run Derby. I love the Futures Game and seeing all those young kids that are going to be Major League players, so there's a lot to see and a lot to experience."

Vinnie Duber is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.