City agrees to waive $1.5M in fees in bid for MLB All-Star game

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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego City Council agreed Monday to waive up to $1.5 million in fees to help the Padres bring baseball’s All-Star game to Petco Park in 2016.

The Padres submitted a bid to Major League Baseball last month to host the annual contest, which is normally held in the middle of July.

The fee waivers would be for things like permits, police and fire protection and other city functions that are financed by the city’s general fund. The Padres would be billed for any such expenses exceeding $1.5 million.

The team would also cover expenses that fall within what city officials call “enterprise funds,” like code enforcement and building inspections, according to city documents.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Allan “Bud” Selig is expected to announce a location for the 87th All-Star game before he retires next month.

The Padres, who haven’t hosted an All-Star game since 1992, are believed within baseball circles to be in line to host the event soon. However, their bid for the 2016 edition would have to overcome both tradition and competition.

All-Star hosts normally alternate each year between the American and National leagues. Cincinnati, an NL franchise like the Padres, is set to be the host next year.

Making matters worse, the Baltimore Orioles of the American League are making a push to hold the 2016 game because it comes on the 25th anniversary of their stadium — the well-regarded Camden Yards.

“This really is a great baseball town, and it’s long overdue that we get (the All-Star game) back,” San Diego Councilman Mark Kersey said.

A staff report suggests San Diegans would benefit from the game’s “unique experiences” and international attention. The city anticipates the event would generate $1.2 million in hotel room tax revenue and $1 million in sales taxes.

The San Diego Tourism Authority estimates the game’s economic impact on the city could hit $80 million.

Joe Terzi, the head of the authority, said his agency’s annual advertising budget couldn’t achieve the reach the exposure the game would bring to San Diego.