S.F. was the true All-Star

The reviews continue to come in for The City as the host of Major League Baseball’s 78th All-Star Game — and they are overwhelmingly positive.

Baseball’s head of security raved about San Francisco and specifically the Police Department for their cooperation and communication with all entities working to put together the event.

“It has to rate as one of the best,” said Kevin Hallinan, a former policeman and Senior Vice President of Security and Facility Management for Major League Baseball. “It was really a tremendous effort by the folks in San Francisco across the board.”

Hallinan also commended the ease of public transportation in The City, the signage and the cleanliness of the streets. He said his family, which comes to these events as well, gave The City “high marks across the board.”

When asked if this might mean The City could score another All-Star Game more quickly than the 23 years it previously endured between Midsummer Classics, Hallinan said such a decision was above his head. The All-Star Game will be played next year at the new Yankee Stadium and the following year in St. Louis.

The City experienced little crime related to the All-Star weekend. Police arrested 23 people for scalping tickets and 19 for trademark infringements, or selling counterfeited materials. Police also said they confiscated $75,000 worth of such illegal materials.

The small amount of crime connected with the baseball events came despite record-breaking crowds at events such as FanFest and the All-Star Game itself.

FanFest, a five-day fan-friendly event at Moscone West, drew 125,000 people, 19,000 more than attended the event in Pittsburgh the year before. At the game itself, 43,965 people packed into AT&T Park, the largest crowd in the stadium’s history and nearly 2,200 more than stated capacity.

San Francisco police Sgt. Steve Mannina said the department had planned for the All-Star Game for 18 months, setting up a unified command post to make communications between agencies easier. Police also deployed officers to expected problem areas to try and pre-empt any potential trouble.

Hallinan said he met with Mayor Gavin Newsom as well as police Chief Heather Fong and The City’s Police Commission on Wednesday night to commend them as hosts.

He said previous host cities of large-draw athletic events have failed because “sometimes it’s like pulling teeth to get things” and the cities were not as “quick to adapt to what we’re trying to accomplish.”

“[San Francisco officials] just understood exactly what we wanted, and they took their goals and objectives and made sure we were all on the same page,” Hallinan said. “I wanted to pack them up and take them to New York with me.”

dsmith@examiner.com


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