Casino Del Sol All-Star Game brings the fansPosted: Updated:
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Luckily the rain gave way to some sun late Monday afternoon, making it the perfect night for the first ever Casino Del Sol All-Star game at Kino Stadium.
The Tucson Padres organized the game with the hope it will stay in Tucson in years to come.
About 7,000 fans packed Kino Stadium Monday night to watch the stars of the east battle the stripes of the west.
But off the field organizers hope the event brings another win for the Tucson economy.
Bags, brats and booze; it looks like a U of A football tailgate, but not quite.
"We want to check out the college all star game, see some good hits, see some good plays," said football fan Ben Anguiz.
Fans decked out in their favorite football gear lined up outside Kino Stadium Monday afternoon, ready to watch the first ever Casino Del Sol All Star Game.
One hundred college football players from across the country, the Stars and Stripes, started the evening off by signing autographs for fans.
But this game is not just a big win for football fanatics, organizers say it's also a big boost to Tucson's economy.
"They've been sitting here eating at restaurants, filling hotels rooms and really enjoying the beauty of this community, so they're going to come back," said Mike Feder with the Tucson Padres.
The Viscount Suite Hotel on Broadway is one local business that saw a boost. It served as Casino Del Sol's overflow hotel for players, agents, and scouts.
"We're less than 4 miles away from the ballpark and there's other hotels closer, so it would be very beneficial for all the hotels in Tucson," said Viscount Suite Hotel Owner Larry Cesare.
It's welcome business to a town that has lost several sporting events in recent years.
"The community didn't need to lose something else," said Feder.
Live music, $2 beers and that classic football fun. Organizers hope this sporting event finds a permanent home in Tucson.
"We just have to show people that this is worthwhile and if we can make some money next year and still put on a great show, then everybody benefits," said Feder.
Six of the players on Monday night's roster came from the U of A.