It appears as if the Red Sox fans now have sour grapes regarding the site of the 2012 MLB All-Star Game. If you'll recall, the Royals beat the Red Sox (take every opportunity I can to say that) in the race for the site of the 2012 game.
Major League Baseball "rewarded" the Royals for their stadium upgrades, yes. No one is arguing this. In fact, it's pretty standard operating procedure across all professional sports leagues.
Because they like it when teams invest money into their stadiums. This is good for business. Good for the game. The Red Sox agreed with this just before, coincidentally, the 1999 All-Star Game when they proposed creating a new Fenway Park citing the "economic obsolescence" of Fenway as the reason. They understood.
Apparently, Red Sox nation now doesn't think awarding the All-Star Game to cities (such as Kansas City) that have put a significant amount of money into their stadiums is a good idea.
As a Kansas Citian, of course I disagree with Red Sox fans on this one.
The investment into the stadium is enough of a reason for MLB Commissioner Bud Selig to award the Royals the game, but, from a Kansas City perspective, there are a few more.
Last time the Royals hosted an All-Star Game? 1973. The only longer wait is the Mets, who haven't hosted since 1964. (By the way, the rumor is that the Mets will get the 2013 game). I hate to pull out the "They deserve it!" line, but Kansas City waited for this longer than all but one team.
And how about a little love for an old-school team like the Royals? They didn't sell their naming rights to a realty company. They kept with the tradition that those in Fenway Park seem to love.
Speaking of naming rights ... Kauffman Stadium? Named after the Royals former owner whose legacy still has a presence in the Kansas City community. I think recognizing stadiums named after quality owners -- such as Mr. Kauffman -- is a good move by the league.
(Editor's note: Community, Boston. You know, where you know your neighbors and talk to people on the block? I kid, I kid...)
And then there's...
Before the 2012 season even starts, the fact that Fenway Park is 100 years old is going to get blasted into our faces like man just landed on the moon. We will hear about this every day from the first day of spring training until the last game at Fenway Park (preferably in November). We will see the "100th Anniversary" logo on every pre-game show, in-game advertisement and post-game recap. We will not be able to escape this piece of information.
And if the MLB was hitched to it with the All-Star Game, they wouldn't be able too, either. This is something they would love.
So, do you take the big event and make it marginally bigger or do you spread the wealth in order to maximize your revenue? We all know Major League Baseball is all about the money so I suspect money was a major factor in this ... and they chose Kansas City. That should tell you something about the economic viability of a Kansas City All-Star Game.
It will be excitement then the All-Star Game then no excitement -- back to the normal every day life for Kansas City.
Unless you're planning on coming to Kansas City two weeks before the All-Star Game and staying for two weeks after, I'm not sure how or why this applies. Major League Baseball is very good at creating a buzz around All-Star Week -- week, not two or three weeks -- so it's hard to think they won't do the same here. Besides, the Red Sox were struggling the week before their 1999 All-Star Game (losers of five of six games) and the week and a half after (losers of six of nine). The excitement they talk about is created by winning and the Red Sox weren't winning in that all-so-important week before and after the All-Star Game.
Do I see the point Red Sox fans are trying to make? Sure, I see it. I just happen to strongly disagree, which isn't shocking considering I'm from Kansas City.
Don't worry, Royals fans. This isn't the first time we've heard a Boston fan complaining about little 'ol Kansas City beating out Boston and I suspect it won't be the last.