Tom Greene | July 12th, 2019
The 2019 All-Star Game may be over, but the memories will always last. With sharing experiences in a previous article I wrote, it’s time to share my tips and tricks for everyone to know if the All-Star Game comes to your area in the future.
Cleveland is a major city in the nation, but it’s not known worldwide. However, when the All-Star Game came to town, it felt like a majorly known world city, in terms of traffic. The Home Run Derby did not start until 8PM Eastern. I was in town at 8:30 AM Eastern, to see Golic and Wingo Live at the House of Blues. Traffic was backed up for miles even then. The later you drive into town (if you do), the more traffic you’ll have to deal with. Plan ahead, arrive early.
Yes, the thing we were taught to do as youngsters… and didn’t want to do then. Crawling sounded more like it then. However, if you want to get anywhere in the All-Star City, you’ll have to do it on your own two feet. Ubers are expensive, upcharged for the event. Taxis? Well, more expensive than Ubers! That’s why the Uber and Lyft apps were made! The cheapest and most effective way to get around town is to take four pitches outside the strike zone. Well, the equivalent of that, at least.
The same goes for parking. Parking in a lot on 9th Street right by Progressive Field ran $40, and if/when the All-Star Game is in bigger cities (not saying Cleveland isn’t big), it can run even more. I was lucky to snag a deal at the Tower City parking structure in between Progressive Field and The Q (No, I straight up refuse to call it Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, OK?). $16 for 12-24 hours max. If you’re able to get a deal like that, take it and run with it. If not, then, once again, walk.
Prepare to Spend Money
Just like in the “Walk” section of this article, things will cost money and you may not avoid paying it. For example, the inside of Play Ball! Park cost $25 on Home Run Derby day. This fee most likely won’t change as the years go by, but it’s still a fee that’s worth paying. Experience as much as you can. You won’t regret it.
As for the in-stadium events, they come at a price. These were the Face Value prices for an upper-level ticket to the three days of events.
Sunday- Celebrity Softball and Futures Game- $75
Monday- Home Run Derby- $250
Tuesday- All-Star Game- $300
Wanna try to scalp a ticket on the street for cheap? Forget about it! While a $20 might work on Sunday after the Futures Game starts, a $100 offer on Monday will basically be laughed at. How do I know? I tried it. The scalpers want face value, and the higher-priced the ticket, the more they want. Buy your tickets well in advance for best pricing.
Consider staying outside the city
You’ll save money that way. If you’re lucky, like I was this season, you’ll have a family of a friend that lives close. (Family of a friend lived in Elyria, OH, about 25 miles from downtown Cleveland) If not, then consider staying about a half-hour to an hour away from town. You’ll be guaranteed to find a hotel and probably find one cheap. Downtown fills. Suburbs don’t. It may not be convenient to drive into town and drive out, but the cost of a hotel and gas may be less than the hotel downtown. Don’t be afraid to drive. Just don’t drink and drive.
Of course, with any event, sometimes it’s not about the money you spend. It’s about the time spent. There are many, many things to do in the All-Star City, and it’s your job to enjoy what you can of it. If you have young kids, the outside of Play Ball! Park can be your thing. If you’re attending the game, enjoy it. If you’re in your 20s and looking to do anything you can for cheap (like me), Play Ball! Park and the Bar are your best options. Again, do NOT Drink and Drive. The cops are out in full force. They will catch you.
The Point of it All
Like the Experience article, you can watch as much TV coverage as you want and feel like you’re there. But you’re only there if you see it with your own two eyes. Writing about the experience is one thing, but making suggestions for others can make someone else’s experience that much better. If you’re going to a future MLB All-Star event, I hope this article helps determine what you want to do. The All-Star Week is a great event, and for a lot of people, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
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