MLB All-Star Week brings $50M, 100,000 visitors to Seattle
Jul 12, 2023, 6:31 PM
By any measuring stick, MLB All-Star Week will be considered a success for Seattle, bringing $50 million and 100,000 visitors to the city.
Kelly Saling, Chief Sales Officer at Visit Seattle, said that All-Star Week gives the city high visibility and when everything is calculated, from ticket sales from all of the events, hotels, restaurants, shopping, etc., the economic impact will be tens of millions of dollars.
Saling explained that All-Star Week “puts us on that national stage to get more intention for even more of it down the line. Coming out of the pandemic, we have been wanting to get everything rejuvenated and get downtown reactivated and the hotels and the restaurants, and the small businesses really thriving again. ”
Saling said Seattle started to bid on the All-Star Game in 2019. Originally, the city was going for the game in 2024 or 2025. But, coming out of the pandemic, getting the 2023 game was viable.
“Summers in Seattle are always very successful,” Saling said. “I think we are super eager for the results that we’ll get next week on hotel occupancy, which is really something that we use as a measuring stick.”
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Saling said local hotels are saying this is the best summer they’ve had in years.
“I think that the combination of the things we’ve got, especially this week, and coming up to additional concerts, on top of cruise ship business, convention business, all of that is really leading to reaching pre-pandemic times.”
Saling said that the drone show at Seattle Center was “really well received. And then the venues in and around the ballpark that are being used.”
“Everybody is just kind of alive and grateful for the business and the opportunity to kind of bounce back from some pretty tough years,” Saling said.
Saling said good transportation plans need to be developed to optimize success.
“We want transportation designed to take everybody from the hotel zone at about 7th and Pine and wind our way down to the ballparks through Pioneer Square, and making sure that we highlight really excellent small businesses along the way that make our place special.”
She mentioned Los Angeles and Dodger Stadium from last year’s MLB All-Star Game.
“The stadium is away from downtown. And so transportation there and the logistics are just far different,” Saling noted. “So we feel pretty fortunate that we get to have the ability to have mass transit, but also the ability to walk.”
Saling said MLB All-Star Week may be just the kickstart the city needed to get on track.
“Our goal is through travel and tourism, getting Seattle to improve the residential experience getting the tourists who have money, patronizing the businesses, and leaving their tax base for ultimately a better experience for all of us that live here.”
She said all of this will help bring people back downtown.
“I think that ultimately everything is just looking and feeling good. It’s there’s nothing more beautiful than an 80-degree summer day in Seattle. And it’s our hope that there’s a benefit for downtown for the region, and all of the visitors but also the residents. That’s our hope.”