DENVER (CBS4) – All-Star Week kicked off Friday morning in the Colorado Convention Center with the opening of Play Ball Park, the ultimate fan experience for Major League Baseball. The first day had a focus on the family, encouraging more young children and teens to not only follow the sport but also play the game.

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“We thought it was awesome,” said Eugene Joseph, who came to the event with his two children. “It was a lot of fun.”

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MLB announced Thursday it released 100,000 tickets and fans would need to sign up for tickets based on times available the same day they wanted to enter Play Ball Park. In honor of “Kids Day” at the fan experience, bat and ball sets were handed out to those families who first entered the doors in the morning.

(credit: CBS)

“It’s just more exciting. We all really love it, both of the boys play on little league,” one mother told CBS4 on Friday. “We’re just excited about maybe going to more baseball games and just cheering on all the different teams.”

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Major League Baseball is always looking for opportunities to grow their audience and this week not only celebrates their sport, but helps to introduce baseball to more people who could end up as future players or lifelong fans.

The event also highlights how easy it is for families and friends to play together. The bat and ball set giveaway was part of the outreach MLB makes all year so baseball becomes more accessible.

(credit: CBS)

“I thought it was really cool, I thought there was a lot of fun stuff for all ages and it kept the kids engaged,” said Tony Klitch, a father of two who came with his wife and children from Fort Collins. “It kept the family engaged, and it was a really good experience.”

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Visitors can still get into Play Ball Park by searching for free tickets available on the All-Star Game website.

Shawn Chitnis