Tourism Officials Anticipate Large Crowds for Full Day of Special Event
Harrisburg, PA – On Wednesday, July 14, the Harrisburg Senators will host the 2010 Eastern League All-Star Game at the new Metro Bank Park located on City Island. The Hershey Harrisburg Region last hosted this event, pitting the Eastern League’s Western and Eastern Division All-Stars against each other, in 1988. This year the game is the culmination of activities planned for fans of all ages in and around Metro Bank Park.
“Hosting such a prestigious event provides a fantastic opportunity to show off the new Metro Bank Park complex and our region’s ability to accommodate sporting events of all sizes,” said Gregg Cook, Sports Marketing Manager for the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau. “The new ballpark is just one of the premier event facilities in our region. When you combine our facilities with our ample supply of hotel rooms, convenient location, and affordability – it’s easy to see why this would be a great location for the All-Star Game or any sporting event.”
According to Cook, the combination of the anticipated crowd of spectators, the players, and team personnel coming to the region for this one event will have a significant economic impact on the region. While event organizers and tourism officials estimate large attendance and high revenue for businesses and hotels in the region, neither were able to provide a specific number for the estimated direct or indirect spending that will take place during the three-day event.
One major reason organizers are expecting large crowds is due to pre-game appearances by NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader Kevin Harvick and NASCAR Camping Truck Series four-time champion Ron Hornaday. Both celebrity drivers will be signing autographs and Harvick will be throwing out the first pitch.
Another major factor that helps event organizers draw record crowds to their events in the Hershey Harrisburg Region is the abundant family-oriented attractions and activities, according to Cook. “When families plan to visit this region for a special event or youth sports tournament, it’s common for them to extend their stay to enjoy all that Hershey has to offer and to take day trips to see Pennsylvania Dutch Amish communities in Lancaster and the National Civil War Battlefields in Gettysburg.”
SIDEBAR: GAME DAY SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
1 pm Gates open and the action starts with the semi-finals of the Senators first annual High School Home Run Derby. Autograph hounds need to sign up starting at 1 pm for the NASCAR driver autograph sessions at 5 pm. First 150 fans will receive autographs.
2 pm The Eastern League All-Star teams take batting practice. Each team will take aim at the seats in left field and right field for a half-hour during batting practice. This is a great opportunity to catch a home run ball from a future Major League star.
After batting practice, the players will be available for autographs. This autograph session will last until 4:30pm and is free for all fans attending the game. All 50+ players and coaches will be available. This is a great opportunity to meet future Major Leaguers.
4 pm The Principal Financial Group Family Fun Fest runs all the way to game time at 7:05pm. There will be batting cages, radar gun pitching challenges, a giant “side by side” super slide, Great Clips mobile video game arcade and more. This is free and open to kids aged 1 to 100! The Principal Financial Group Family Fun Fest will be located along the road next to the Faulkner Honda Kids Zone.
4:30 The High School Home Run Derby finals follow the autograph session at 4:30pm. The finals will last approximately a half-hour. These are the last two of the group of five high school sluggers that competed in the semi-finals earlier in the day.
5 pm Following the high school home run derby is the Eastern League Home Run Derby presented by Metro Bank from 5:00pm to 6:15pm. Eight Eastern League All-Stars, four from each team to be determined, will try their luck at hitting long balls onto the Capital Blue Cross Boardwalk. If you didn’t make it for batting practice, here’s a great chance to catch a home run ball!
5 pm Headliners Kevin Harvick and Ron Hornaday will be signing autographs from 5-6 pm. Their autograph session is limited to the first 150 fans that sign-up beginning at 1:00pm when the gates open.
After the Eastern League Home Run Derby, the pre-game activities begin as the lineups will be introduced onto the field, Kevin Harvick will throw out first pitch, then the National Anthem followed by Play Ball! Once the game is over, the skies will light up with the biggest fireworks show of the season presented by Ollie’s Bargain Outlet.
7 pm Game begins.
Tickets to the 2010 Eastern League All-Star game are still available for purchase by calling the Senators box office at 717-231-4444, visiting the Senators Web site, or in person at the box office at Metro Bank Park from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.