Ever since Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park opened in 2003, the Reds' front office, local media, and fans have made it well-known they wanted another All-Star Game for the city. Efforts to lure the game to the city were stepped up with Bob Castellini becoming the Reds President and CEO in 2006. Finally, after edging out newer parks like San Diego PETCO Park and Miami's Marlins Park, Cincinnati will host the 2015 edition of the MLB All-Star Game. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig is expected to officially announce Cincinnati as host Wednesday afternoon with a press conference at Great American Ball Park.
This will be the fifth time Cincinnati will host the mid-summer classic, with the Reds' Crosley Field hosting the game in 1938 and 1953 and GABP's predecessor, Riverfront Stadium, hosting in 1970 and 1988.
The game has become much more of a fan-centered event than in those years. Looking at the schedule for this year's game at New York's Citi Field, a fan fest is being hosted at a nearby convention center for the five days previous to the All-Star Game plus Citi Field will host both a Futures game and a Legends/Celebrity softball game on that Sunday, the Home Run Derby on that Monday, with the All-Star Game on Tuesday.
The Minnesota Twins were previously announced to host the 2014 game at Target Field.
Cincinnati apparently helped their case to host after successfully hosting the MLB Civil Rights Game in both '09 and '10 while also staging the incredibly popular off-season event, the Reds Fanfest, at a local convention center the last few years.
In addition, Selig is expected to announce a major contribution towards expansion of the Reds Urban Youth Academy. Plans for the (estimated) $5.5 million project include a four field setup (one of which will be suited to softball dimensions), plus indoor training facilities, concession stands and more. The Academy will be run as part of the Reds Community Fund, which has built or revamped over 300 youth baseball fields throughout the region. The Reds Academy is only the seventh in the country, and the only location in the Midwest.