Cooperstown already preparing for Jeter's Hall of Fame induction
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 20:15:46 GMT —
The Village of Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame have 75 years of experience working together to bring tens of thousands of fans into this quaint village of 1,800 for induction weekend each July.
A good weekend brings in 50,000 people, but both the hall and the village are already thinking about 2020, when Derek Jeter will be eligible.
Jeter's cleats and jersey from the Yankees 1998 championship season have already made the Hall of Fame.
"You can say maybe it will be 100,000. Maybe a 120,000? What if it's 200,000? Every ten or twenty thousand is a huge amount,â?? says Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz.
Katz says Otsego County, emergency services and state troopers will all work together with the hall. The mayor already expects to close down all the streets in the business district to cars.
"In 2007, when Cal Ripken Jr. was inducted, we had 80,000 people. The county took a good leadership role and got farmland to park cars and arranged shuttle buses to the induction site,â?? Katz says.
Derek Jeter is the rare athlete who has also become a household name, and playing twenty years in New York City builds a massive fan base.
"Every induction weekend has its own set of characteristics, and when you're looking ahead to a guy like Derek Jeter, we'll have to plan for large crowds. The guy affected and touched so many people that everyone is going to want to share in that special day of July 2020,â?? says Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson.
Cooperstown is also looking ahead to 2019 when pitcher Mariano Rivera is expected to be selected to the Hall of Fame.
"Depending on how many people Rivera brings out, as Yankees fans are a three and a half to four hour drive, I think that will help us hone in on the Jeter year,â?? Katz says.
For fans, getting to the induction ceremony will just be one of the challenges. The village expects hotel rooms from Syracuse to Albany to be booked that weekend.