MLB All-Star Game Makes Outdoor Event Planners Hopeful

Earlier this year, Gov. Jared Polis said Summer 2021 would be close to “normal.” The announcement of the MLB All-Star Game moving to Denver and Polis’ expectation of a packed Coors Field made the promise of a “normal” summer feel more real for many.

Outdoor event planners, who’ve spent that last year waiting to safely reopen, are feeling hopeful and confident.

“There are a lot of people who are still afraid to go out. Look at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in July, we’re pretty far away from that. If we walk backward three months, from where we are today, I wouldn’t be this optimistic. I think things are progressing along far enough, that by the time we get to July, the consumer confidence is going to be there,” said Chris Zacher, Executive Director at Levitt Pavilion.

Levitt Pavilion hasn’t welcomed guests since Fall 2019. Zacher has been coordinating with health officials and guiding other local venues on how to get federal grants during the pandemic.

He says he wasn’t surprised when Polis spoke of a packed Coors Field in July. He’s conducted surveys to gauge consumer confidence. The results showed many Coloradans are ready to leave home.

“This last year has been nothing short of heartbreaking for our industry and for so many friends who’ve lost jobs or lost their companies. This shows that people are getting vaccinated and that we’re doing everything that we can do so this can happen again,” said Zacher.

One of the largest outdoor summer events in Denver will return this year, but later than usual. Amp the Cause’s Denver Day of Rock usually takes place at the end of May. This year, the music and food-filled outdoor festival will hit the 16th Street Mall on Aug. 28.

“June might be pushing it a little bit and then July, obviously, would be like testing the waters,” said Julia Simmons, President of Amp the Cause. “In August, we will be able to have comfort, and people will be ready to come see some live music.”

Denver Day of Rock didn’t take place in 2020, but Amp the Cause has been busy. Simmons says the nonprofit has since started a new program that helps families who are experiencing food insecurity. The return of such a large event will also bring opportunities for Coloradans who make the show happen.

“Whether it’s entertainment or the caterers or our food trucks, every single person that helps make Denver Day of Rock go on and go well, has come back to us and said they’re in,” said Simmons. “As an event company and as a nonprofit, ‘pivot’ has been the word of the year. Since COVID, we’ve just been pivoting left and right and we’re really excited about being able to safely return to what normal looks like.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *