The 2013 MLB All-Star Game and weekend events were a home run for businesses in and around Citi Field.
The major sports event pumped $191.1 million into the city, according to Rob Mackay, director of marketing, events and tourism for the Queens Economic Development Corporation.
“In general it’s good for the city,” Mackay said. “so if it’s good for the city, it’s good for Queens. The entire event was very good for hotels and quite good for taxis.”
Mackay added that the All-Star Game introduced Queens to fans around the country and the world, which could lead to increased tourism.
“It put Queens in everyone’s living room,” Mackay said. “It was very good for our image.”
The All-Star weekend kicked off on July 12 with Fanfest in Manhattan. It was followed by the Celebrity and Legends Softball Game, the All-Star Futures Game, the State Farm Home Run Derby and the main event on July 16.
Hotels around the borough and near Citi Field were at or near capacity during the events. Corona Hotel, which is located a block away from Citi Field, was at 80 percent capacity. The hotel is normally around 60 percent at this time of the year, according to manager Chatn Patel.
As an official sponsor and MLB All-Star retailer, Modell’s Sporting Goods was allowed to set up shop right in front Citi Field to sell merchandise. The tent-like store sold baseball equipment, New Era fitted caps and Majestic All-Star players’ jerseys, among other items. The pop-up store sold so well that employees had to go to local Modell’s locations and pull more items.
“The fans of the city have really embraced everything that is going on here,” said Kelly Harvey, senior manager of brand and event marketing. “MLB has been great getting fans to come here. We’ve done better than we expected to do.”
Restaurants inside Citi Field, some of which had experienced lower sales this year due to low attendance at Mets games, saw an explosion in sales during the All-Star festivities.
Union Square Events, which manages Shake Shack, Blue Smoke, El Verano Taqueria and Box Frites in Citi Field, said the eateries had the highest volume of sales since opening in 2009. The game itself had 26 percent higher sales than any game over the last three years.
“Union Square Events feels fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in such a momentous event,” said Ron Parker, Union Square Events managing partner. “Citi Field was in all its glory and the Mets really showed everyone what New York hospitality is all about.