CINCINNATI -- When the Reds' team bus departed with the players and coaches for the airport from Great American Ball Park shortly after a home stand wrapped on Sunday, Rick Stowe and his staff wasted little time getting to work. Immediately, All-Star Week preparations began.
Stowe, the longtime Reds clubhouse and equipment manager, is overseeing the equivalent of moving the belongings and furnishing of a 30,000 square foot home out -- and back in -- multiple times. The workload will indeed be heavy this week.
"We probably won't leave here for three or four days," Stowe said. "We'll bunk out here. At least four or five of us will be bunking out here for four or five days. It will be silly hours. Once it's all said and done, I'm sure it will move fast. My counterparts who've had recently said it would go fast, it'll fly by and before you know it, it will be over."
During the 86th All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile, to be held in Cincinnati on July 14, the Reds clubhouse will locker players and coaches from the National League squad. The American League, of course, will take the visitor's clubhouse. In the days leading up, multiple tenants will occupy both spaces.
There will be participants from a Junior Home Run Derby, the Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game and celebrities playing in the softball game that will be housed on Sunday. Once they clear out, another move of stuff out and in commences to host the Major League All-Stars for Monday's workout day, the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders, and of course, Tuesday's Midsummer Classic. It will be nothing like the last time Cincinnati hosted the All-Star Game, in 1988 at Riverfront Stadium.
To accommodate the multitudes of players, coaches, media and more, all the sofas and tables are cleared out. Reds player lockers are cleared out completely, and nameplates are removed. All of the contents of the home clubhouse will be moved into a pair of semitrailers in the bowels of the stadium.
"We want it to look good," assistant clubhouse manager Josh Stewart said. "We want to represent the Reds well. We want other teams to come in and see how we do things and that it's done the right way."
Besides the players, equipment and apparel vendors also set up shop. Reps from sneaker companies, bat makers and more will be there.
"They want to take care of their All-Stars pretty nice," Stowe said. "They'll come in and fill their lockers up with all kinds of goody bags and things like that."
To handle the enormity of the job, Stowe has enlisted extra staff.
"We've got about 18 guys from around the National League," Stowe said. "Clubhouse positions just like mine that are coming in to help us out and do this. For every four players, we'll have one clubhouse staff member involved with them."
On July 15, after the All-Star show leaves town, Stowe and the crew must prep the clubhouse one more time for the return of the Reds, who open the second half at home vs. the Indians.
"It's exciting," Stewart said. "Just talking to Rick about the last time the All-Star Game was here, it's completely changed. It's a whole new element, not just a game but five days' worth of stuff. It will be neat to see."
On Monday at 7 p.m. ET, the All-Star reserves, pitchers and Final Vote candidates will be announced on the Esurance All-Star Selection Show on ESPN. Immediately following the show, fans can return to MLB.com to begin voting to select the final player for each League's 34-man roster via the 2015 Esurance All-Star Game Final Vote. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each league until 4 p.m. ET on Friday, July 10.
Voting is open now at MLB.com to select the final player for each League's 34-man roster via the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each League until 4 p.m. ET on Friday.
And the voting doesn't end there. During the All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile in Cincinnati on Tuesday, July 14, fans can once again visit MLB.com to submit their choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. Voting exclusively at MLB.com, online and via their mobile devices in the 2015 All-Star Game MVP Vote presented by Chevrolet, the fans' collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 supported MLB.TV platforms, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities, including the 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day on Monday, July 13. The Derby will feature a new format with brackets and timed rounds and will be broadcast live by ESPN and MLB.com beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
The 86th Midsummer Classic will be televised nationally by FOX Sports (coverage begins 7 p.m. ET), in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.