Local officials have estimated that the five days of activities on and off the field, including the FanFest at the downtown Kansas City Convention Center, will have an impact in excess of $60 million on the local economy.
FanFest annually draws more than 100,000 fans, and the three events at suburban Kauffman Stadium -- the SiriusXM Futures Game, the State Farm Home Run Derby and Tuesday night's 83rd All-Star Game -- were all sellouts at the renovated 41,000-seat ballpark.
"Look, this is a wonderful, wonderful baseball market, and I'm not saying that just because I'm here," Selig said. "I happen to have a great affinity for Kansas City. When I ran the Brewers, we had a great relationship and rivalry with the Royals. The two days that I've been here have been wonderful. The response here has just been terrific."
Next year's All-Star Game is scheduled for July 16 at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. Selig told a group of baseball writers earlier on Tuesday that an announcement of the site for the 2014 game will be coming shortly. Numerous reports have said the game with be at the new Target Field in Minneapolis. After that, Selig said, the field for hosting future All-Star Games is wide open, though he added that he anticipates remaining in the rotation of going from American League to National League cities from year to year.
"I remember being here in 1973," Selig told the group at the luncheon. "We had a big party at the Kauffman's home, and it was tremendous. But I have 30 teams, and the competition for All-Star Games is incredibly intense. Back in the 1990s, I had to beg people to take an All-Star Game. Today, they are lined up. They come to a place like this. They see all the events. They're really anxious [to host] them."
The remainder of the luncheon was dominated by questions about revenue sharing and the possibility of a smaller-market team such as the Royals being successful. The Royals haven't made the playoffs since winning the 1985 World Series in seven games over the Cardinals.
Selig told the crowd not to lose hope, citing $400 million in revenue sharing, a competitive-balance tax on higher-spending clubs and a debt-service rule that restricts teams from borrowing money to pay down revenue-related debt.
"The Pittsburgh Pirates are leading the NL Central. The Milwaukee Brewers won it last year," Selig said. "The Cincinnati Reds are very close. The Washington Nationals are leading their division. We've had 19 teams in the playoffs in the last five years. This thing has changed completely.
"That's what we set out to do, and it has worked. Is there a disparity? There will always be some disparity. New York is New York, Los Angeles is Los Angeles and Chicago is Chicago. But we have really reduced it."