Gibson said he was one of the congressional promoters of legislation that this year prompted the U.S. Mint to issue distinctive new coins commemorating the Hall of Fame's 75th anniversary this year.
The congressman said Obama could further help fuel tourism by getting behind a tax reforms measure that would allow Americans to take home more of the money that they earn, supporting even more infrastructure improvements, expand access to federal broadband funding and doing more to contain the spread of tick-transmitted Lyme disease. Focusing more on the latter problem, he reasoned, would lessen public concerns that they could be sickened by ticks in rural areas.
Katz said he could offer no predictions as to how many people will be in Cooperstown Thursday. But he said it will likely not come close to approaching the 13,000 people who packed Doubleday Field in 2004 to see a double bill concert featuring Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson.
"This is very exciting stuff for us," Katz acknowledged. The last President to visit Cooperstown was Martin Van Buren, and that happened in 1839."
Because president's must always ben willing to respond to unanticipated events, Katz acknowledged there is a chance that Obama may have to scratch the Cooperstown stop if more pressing events arise. "We're told it's been 'penciled in' on the schedule," he noted.
The forecast from the National Weather Service for Cooperstown for Thursday is calling for cloudy skies, with a 50 percent chance of showers, and high temperatures of 64 degrees.
Gene Marra, proprietor of the Cooperstown Distillery on Railroad Avenue, said he learned from an associate with a White House connection that Obama will be in Cooperstown for approximately one hour, will have address a hand-selected gathering of less than 200 people at the Hall of Fame. While it has not been confirmed, he said, there are indications that the visit will take place close to noontime.