SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake Bees general manager Marc Amicone's desk is covered with Triple-A All-Star Game information. On one corner sits an operations manual that is a couple of inches thick.
Amicone knows its contents well. For more than two years, he's spearheaded preparations for next week's gathering at Spring Mobile Ballpark.
"It's an event. It's not just a game," Amicone said. "There's a lot of things that take place."
So many, in fact, that everyone on the staff is heavily involved in putting things together.
"There's a lot of moving parts and a lot to do," Amicone said. "Everybody's got a different function."
The core group includes Amicone, communications manager Hannah Lee, director of events/banquets Ashley Rinehart, vice-president of food services Mark Stedman, director of ticket sales and service Casey Patterson, director of corporate sponsorships Brian Prutch, game operations director Chance Fessler, head groundskeeper Jared Olson, team broadcaster Steve Klauke, assistant to the general manager/account manager Kelly Rooney, box office manager Laura Russell and vice president of marketing Craig Sanders.
They're all part of the Larry H. Miller Sports and Entertainment Group that is hosting minor league baseball's premier all-star showcase, July 9-13 in Salt Lake City.
Putting on events and entertaining Utah, Amicone explained, is a major function and mission of the organization.
"I'm really proud of this community and I'm really proud of the company that I work for," he said. "I think we do a lot of things really well here in this city. We're excited. It's a challenge for us. We look at it that way, not that it's a drag. It's an exciting thing."
The excitement begins with concert featuring Chris Isaak and Blue Traveler at the stadium on Saturday.
Players and executives begin arriving the next day, checking into all-star headquarters at the Salt Lake Sheraton.
Things really ramp up the following three days.
On Monday, there's the Home Run Derby. Next Tuesday's activities include Team Workout Sessions at the ballpark and an All-Star Gala at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Next Wednesday's events include an All-Star Luncheon featuring guest speakers Frank Layden and Hall of Famer Rod Carew, as well as the All-Star Game.
"It's a much bigger scope than a regular-season game," said Lee, who has issued more than 100 media credentials for the events.
That's more than 10 times the amount of press that typically covers the Bees. Besides the MLB Network's live national broadcast, writers from publications like Baseball America and USA Today will be in attendance. So, too, will be as many as 20 major league scouts.
Spring Mobile Ballpark's press box has a capacity of 15. The recent completion of a new suite patio on the first-base side of the stadium, however, provides ample room to accommodate the large media gathering.
Lee, who also works for the NBA's Utah Jazz, noted it definitely helps to have that experience. Big events are nothing new. The staff has plenty of experience in that regard.
The Triple-A All-Star Game, though, is something special. Lee and the Bees' staff are determined to give fans, participants and the media a positive experience they'll remember for a long time.
"I'm thrilled about it. It's a great opportunity for us to showcase not just the Bees organization, but Salt Lake City and the state — what we have to offer to the baseball community here locally as well as on a national scale," Lee said. "We have a beautiful ballpark. I'm confident that it's one of the best in Triple-A, and I'm excited to show that off and I really look forward to it."
Amicone acknowledged they're trying to entertain everybody and showcase Salt Lake City. Amidst what he calls "organized chaos" of sorts, the group has several other responsibilities, including hospitality, a transportation network and interaction with sponsors.
And there's more, a lot more.
Excursions have been arranged for All-Star executives. Options include visits to the Miller Motorsports Park, the LDS Church Family History Library, Olympic Park or a round of golf.
Meeting space has also been arranged for various groups including marketing committees, ticket managers and Triple-A executives. Breakfasts and parties are also planned.
The grounds crew will be busy this weekend transforming the field from a concert venue back to baseball, complete with an all-star logo cut into the grass. Fans will receive a commemorative ticket and lanyard, plus a game program. A free aerial photo from the Home Run Derby will also be handed out.
"It's a lot of work," Amicone said. "But it's a lot of excitement. It's a fun thing for our staff."
And then there's the actual game. Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees is among 73 former Triple-A All-Stars who went on to play in the Major League All-Star Game.
"From a baseball standpoint, you're going to see the absolute best players that are not in the major leagues in the world," Amicone said. "These guys are really good."
Tickets are still available, however, Bees officials anticipate a packed house.
"I really expect people to step up, buy tickets and want to be here, make it a showcase because it's a good event for our city," Amicone said. "It's on national TV. It's good for the baseball community here, it's good for Salt Lake."
All-Star event schedule
Saturday, July 9
All-Star Weekend Concert
Chris Isaak and Blues Traveler
Spring Mobile Ballpark, 6 p.m.
Monday, July 11
Home Run Derby
Spring Mobile Ballpark, 7:05 p.m.
Tuesday, July 12
Team Workout Sessions
Spring Mobile Ballpark, 12:30-4:45 p.m.
Wednesday, July 12
Spring Mobile Ballpark, 7:05 p.m.
Triple-A All-Star Game hosts
1988 — Buffalo, N.Y.
1989 — Columbus, Ohio
1990 — Las Vegas, Nev.
1991 — Louisville, Ky.
1992 — Richmond, Va.
1993 — Albuquerque, N.M.
1994 — Nashville, Tenn.
1995 — Moosic, Pa.
1996 — SALT LAKE CITY
1997 — Des Moines, Iowa
1998 —Norfolk, Va.
1999 — Metairie, La.
2000 — Rochester, N.Y.
2001 — Indianapolis, Ind.
2002 — Oklahoma City, Okla.
2003 — Memphis, Tenn.
2004 — Pawtucket, R.I.
2005 — Sacramento, Calif.
2006 — Toledo, Ohio
2007 — Albuquerque, N.M.
2008 — Louisville, Ky.
2009 — Portland, Ore.
2010 — Allentown, Pa.
2011 — SALT LAKE CITY
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