All-Star Game preps front and center as Reds win on Opening Day - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

All-Star Game preps front and center as Reds win on Opening Day

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Opening Day brings a lot of changes to Great American Ball Park this year, especially plenty of sightings of the handlebar mustache-clad All-Star Game logo.

MLB officials were in town checking out Opening Day, taking notes for the game that is now three months away.

Take a look around the ball park and it's easy to see something special is happening this season. A $5 million investment in upgrades around the ball park including signage, food options and beverage choices are among the noticeable changes at GABP this season.

"It makes me so happy that Cincinnati is back on the map because this is where baseball started. This is where baseball should be,” said Gabe Wiesman from Cincinnati.

"It kind of brings Cincinnati to life. You don't really get that with a lot of ballparks,” Reds fan Logan Stalf told FOX19 NOW.

The logo and branding is everywhere - hats and souvenirs, banners, and a Fountain Square countdown clock for all to see.

"If we want people to truly understand and get to know our region, that's our responsibility. That's not Major League Baseball's. Theyput on a great show. It's up to us to do the rest,” said Melanie Chavez, co-chair of the Community Organizing Committee for the game.

And the rest is a lot.

Hundreds of thousands are expected here in mid-July.

"When they come, I want them to leave knowing that we have an amazing arts community here. If they don't, that was a miss on our part. I want them to know that we have amazing food scenes. I want them to know that we have some great neighborhoods,” Chavez said.

Chavez says more than 200 people have worked for 14 months to hit those goals. They'll have people in local airports and people catering to hospitality for the out-of-towners. Closer to the game, they're planning interactive photo booths citywide and festival-style street entertainment.

There's much more to be expected with three months to go.

"It's about showcasing the region. It's about really saying why you love this place - why you want to be in Cincinnati, and why it means so much to us,” Chavez told FOX19 NOW.

Chavez says the Community Organizing Committee is starting a campaign to wear red on Fridays starting April 10th through the All-Star Game. 

They've also launched a program called "Baseball Across the Region,” that involves a traveling baseball making stops to showcase the region, much like the Olympic torch.

Viewers can watch the 2015 All-Star Game July 14 on FOX19 NOW. 

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