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October 23, 2014

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LVCVA expects Big League Weekend to be a home run for city

Cubs, Mets to meet during spring training series expected to bring nearly $3 million to Las Vegas

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Steve Marcus

Chicago Cubs’ Chris Volstad pitches during Big League Weekend at Cashman Field Sunday March 18, 2012. The Chicago Cubs took on the Texas Rangers.

Las Vegas will be showcased in two of the nation’s largest television markets in March when Big League Weekend returns to Cashman Field for the 30th time next year.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority unanimously approved spending $300,000 to bring the Chicago Cubs and the New York Mets for a two-game spring training baseball series March 15 and 16.

The games are expected to have a nongaming economic impact of $2.9 million, and 3,800 out-of-town visitors are expected to travel to Las Vegas for the annual event. The value of the event will be enhanced by television broadcasts to New York and Chicago, the No. 1 and No. 3 television markets in the country. The LVCVA is expected to advertise during the broadcasts.

The LVCVA estimates the value of the television and print media exposure to be about $1.3 million. The authority will receive 15 percent of gross ticket sales, with estimated revenue of $100,000, resulting in a net cost of $200,000 to host the games.

The series will pit two National League teams with disappointing 2013 seasons against each other.

The Mets, the major league parent club of the Pacific Coast League Las Vegas 51s, are appearing at Big League Weekend for the first time since 1997, when they beat the Seattle Mariners and lost to the Boston Red Sox. The club conducts spring training in Florida’s Grapefruit League in Port St. Lucie.

The Cubs, a perennial spring training favorite at Cashman because of its legion of loyal followers, trains in Mesa, Ariz., in the Cactus League and is moving into a new spring training facility in 2014.

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