Yesterday's announcement that El Paso had been awarded the 2019 Triple-A All Star Game is another huge opportunity for the city to shine on the national stage. In just four short years, the emergence of the MountainStar Sports Group along with community support has helped redefine downtown El Paso. Since they first formed in 2012, El Paso has a Triple-A baseball franchise, a state-of-the-art downtown ballpark, and a Pacific Coast League championship. They have also hosted the Gildan Triple-A National Championship game and in two years will add the All Star game to their list of accomplishments.

The El Paso Chihuahuas continue to display strong attendance figures after three years and they have the become the model for consistency in Minor League baseball. Fan support has been overwhelming, a clear sign that people will pay for a quality fan-friendly product. At the same time, Southwest University Park has quickly become the crown jewel of El Paso venues. UTEP could soon announce a $50 million renovation to the Sun Bowl, and the $180 million downtown multipurpose arena would give the city a nice complement to the ballpark.

Before you know it, the Triple-A All Star game will be here. Fans will enjoy a home run derby competition that could have hundreds of people lining Santa Fe street with their baseball gloves hoping to catch a lucky souvenir that flies out of Southwest University Park. They will see plenty of future big leaguers in that game, some of whom will go on to play in Major League All Star Games and possibly end up in Cooperstown at the Baseball Hall of Fame. It is another huge win for El Paso, especially when you consider the TV exposure the game gets, along with the large contingent of baseball officials who will meet up for nearly a week in our city.

Following yesterday's announcement, I had a chance to sit down with Branch Rickey, the President of the Pacific Coast League to talk about El Paso's rapid development as a Triple-A baseball community.

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