Durham, N.C. — When the Durham Bulls host the Triple-A All-Star game Wednesday night, it will be the cap to a week of events that showcase baseball and the Bull City.
The fun started Saturday with thousands passing through the gates at Durham Bulls Athletic Park to enjoy tours, batting practice on the field, and family fun like face painting, caricature artists and balloon animals. On Saturday evening, the American Tobacco Campus resounded with the live music performances, and visitors snacked on treats from local food trucks.
"It is great for the city of Durham to host an event like this for people to get to see how far downtown has come," said baseball fan Matt Lozer.
Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce CEO Casey Steinbacher said there is a building boom happening in downtown Durham.
"We get to show off what Durham is going to be a year from now with all the stuff and construction going on so they can consider us for the future," she said.
Along with the exposure, the city expects the event to generate between $2 and $4 million.
On Monday, the DBAP hosts the Triple-A Home Run Derby.
Six of the game's best hitters, including International League all-time home run leader Mike Hessman and former Durham Bulls MVP Dan Johnson, will take aim at the DBAP's Snorting Bull. When the big hitters go long, fans in the stands win prizes too.
On Tuesday afternoon, all-star team batting practices are free and open to the public. Fans can watch the workouts and get autographs:
2:15-3:15 p.m.: IL batting practice
2:45-3:15 p.m.: PCL autograph session
3:30-4 p.m.: IL autograph session
4-5 p.m.: PCL batting practice
Wednesday night at 7 p.m. is the big event. Top prospects representing every Major League team will compete in the Triple-A All-Star Game. There will be a fireworks show after the game.