"Last year's World Series was a great illustration of the rich baseball history in Cleveland. We are delighted that the 2019 All-Star Game will be in Cleveland with the Indians' loyal fans during an exciting time for the franchise. Major League Baseball looks forward to bringing 90th Midsummer Classic to downtown Cleveland in 2019 to celebrate the best of our sport."
Progressive Field has been renovated several times since last hosting the game in 1997 and right now the Indians are off the heels of a World Series appearance, so the decision by MLB here makes a lot of sense. As well, 2019 will mark the 25th anniversary of the ballpark.
This breaks a four-season streak of National League clubs playing host to the Midsummer Classic, as the Reds and Padres hosted the last two while the 2017 All-Star Game is in Marlins Park in Miami and 2018 is set for Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
Traditionally, the leagues alternate venues for the All-Star Game, but we saw a departure here in this midst of this four-year stretch.
As noted, Progressive Field last hosted the All-Star Game in 1997. The AL teams with a longer drought are the Rays (never), A's (1987), Blue Jays (1991), Orioles (1993) and Rangers (1995). Keep in mind, the Rangers have a new ballpark coming for 2020, so expect them to be in the mix for 2021.
New Yankee Stadium hasn't hosted the event, but Old Yankee Stadium did 2008. Still, it's New York and the Yankees. So they could figure in soon.
Over on the NL side, lots of teams have a claim to get an All-Star Game soon. The Dodgers haven't hosted the game since 1980. The Cubs haven't since 1990 and Wrigley Field will have been fully renovated by 2020. The Phillies haven't hosted since 1996 and that was in Veterans Stadium. Turner Field (Braves) played host in 2000, but the Braves will have a new ballpark in 2017 and likely would like to house the event again soon. Sometimes the league makes teams wait a bit, though.
Assuming MLB looks to go back to the alternating leagues setup, here are the best guesses for how things shake out moving forward:
2020: Cubs or Phillies
2022: Cubs or Phillies
2024: Dodgers or Braves
2025: Yankees or Blue Jays, unless A's or Rays are in new venues
2026: Dodgers or Braves
We can stop there. Too many variables after that.
The big news is that Cleveland has the All-Star Game in 2019.