While there’s little doubt Kansas City benefited by hosting the event, the extent to which some media and boosters over dramatized and hyped the event was a bit much. The underlying reality being baseball pretty much sucks in this town – has for decades – and the All Star Game is a mostly meaningless event for all but the most fervent, die hard baseball fans.
By the way, another huge sporting event hit KC last month causing millions of eyeballs to zero in upon the downtown skyline.
And like the All Star Game, chances are you probably missed it.
The event went down sans any Plaza-clogging parades, painted streets, calls from on high to clean up the bad parts of town or phoneyed up economic impact studies.
The WWE pretty much came and went with nary a peep from KC’s top peeps.
And yet despite that the lowly WWE matches were televised on the even lowlier SyFy Channel, it was the top rated cable show with a .8 rating even going up against the opening ceremony of the Olympics on NBC.
Thus Kansas City’s WWE spectacle averaged 2.83 million viewers versus an All Star Game average audience of 10.9 million.
“Never before has the television rating for the All-Star Game declined for a fourth straight year,” Sports Illustrated columnist Tom Verducci wrote ominously before the game. Talk about a jinx, another dubious MLB record for Kansas City.
A couple more tidbits served up by Verducci:
*** The All Star game has set a record ratings low in 10 of the past 17 years.
*** And that the NFL Pro Bowl, “as ghastly as it is, had more viewers than the All-Star Game in each of the past two years.”
“The All-Star Game still is a genuine event at a time when the game is robust. But if you find you have better things to do, if you simply cannot miss America’s Got Talent, well, just maybe baseball can’t be blamed for that.”
As for where to place the blame for the lack of local hype on the second biggest nationally televised event to be broadcast in KC last month, the jury’s still out.