Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

T-U 2

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

T-U 2

Article excerpt

ALL-STAR GAME EXPECTING TO BE A REALLY BIG DEAL

They don't call it The Big Apple for nothing.

New York will host this summer's baseball All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium, the final year of play at the historic park. The festivities will be stretched out over a six-week span and will include a free concert in Central Park featuring Bon Jovi that Major League Baseball will arrange. That concert is scheduled for July 12, three days before the game itself.

With all the attention directed toward this year's game, it's likely to be the highest grossing event in the long history of the midsummer event. SportsBusiness Journal is reporting that Fox, which will televise the game and much of the surrounding events, has sold 85 percent of its ad sales inventory for the game, putting it 25 percent ahead of last year.

The highest price for a 30-second spot -- ads that non-MLB sponsors can grab as one-off ad buys -- has hit the $550,000 mark.

Most All-Star games have seen a steady decrease in television ratings in recent years and baseball is no exception. This year's telecast could be different just because of the setting. Some industry analysts believe the national TV marks could go up by as much as 5 to 10 percent just because of the game being held in the country's largest market.

"TV ratings will go up considerably in the New York market, and that will help the national rating," said Mike Trager, a sports media consultant and former chairman of Clear Channel Entertainment's television division. "But this game isn't about ratings. It's not about CPNs [cost per thousand viewers]. It's about the aura surrounding the game.

On the secondary ticket market, StubHub officials said a recent sale of field championship level tickets for the July 15 game went for $14,500 each, making it one of the most expensive single transactions in company history. …

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