PHOENIX (TheStreet) -- Major League Baseball's All-Star Game is bringing the sport's best players to Phoenix next week and giving travelers a great reason to join them.
Maybe you're angry Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen was left out despite a strong first half of the season or can't fathom how the New York Yankees' Derek Jeter is starting at shortstop despite just coming off of the injured list. It doesn't matter. As much as Major League Baseball loves to crow about how the All-Star Game "counts" because it determines home-field advantage in the World Series, players are still in for only a few innings at a time, rosters can run out of players because of the league's insistence on carrying three relief pitchers per team and the best pitchers in the game are often left off of the roster because of their turn in the rotation.
This gives the folks at home little reason to watch, as was the case last year when the game's 7.5 Nielsen rating on Fox (Stock Quote: NWS) was the lowest in the game's history, compared with a 9.9 rating for LeBron James' The Decision special on ESPN (Stock Quote: DIS) a week earlier, but it gives fans a whole lot of motivation to come check out the Home Run Derby, the minor-league Futures Game or the All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game during this year's All-Star festivities at Chase (Stock Quote: JPM) Field in Phoenix. At last glance, a strip of tickets for all the events was still available at StubHub (Stock Quote: EBAY) for nearly $100, with tickets for the game alone going for more.
Sponsors including Budweiser (Stock Quote: BUD), Sirius XM (Stock Quote: SIRI), Taco Bell (Stock Quote: YUM), State Farm and Gatorade (Stock Quote: KO) are already heavily invested in the event, but economically conscious baseball travelers may need a little more convincing before spending on a last-minute All-Star excursion. TheStreet came up with 10 reasons for fans to leave the house and hit the road for the love of the game. Some of the stops are well shy of even the cheap seats in Phoenix, but each is an all-star in its own right:
Even if you can't get your hands on a game ticket, Chase Field is worth claiming a ticket for one of the less popular All-Star weekend events, if only to get out of the heat for a bit.
Opened in 1998 and known as Bank One Ballpark or "The BoB" until 2005, Chase Field shows mercy to the devoted, desert-dwelling fans of the Arizona Diamondbacks by closing the stadium's retractable roof on particularly hot days and cranking the air conditioner until the temperature drops 30 degrees from that outside. There's a pool just beyond right-center field, but it's not exactly open swim for the 49,000-plus in attendance. It's usually part of a reserved suite that holds 35 people and can go for $3,500 per game.
Even fans who get shut out usually have an easy time finding their way into Chase Field, which holds daily 75-minute tours and houses Fridays Front Row Sports Grill with a great view of the action on game day and a nice look at the field when the Diamondbacks are away. If fans are lucky enough to get seats and own a smartphone or tablet, they can download an app that allows them to place advance orders for concessions and pick them up at an express counter when they're ready.