The 2021 Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be getting a new host city. On Friday, MLB announced it is moving the Midsummer Classic out of Atlanta's Truist Park in response to restrictive voting legislation recently passed in Georgia.
"Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box," commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "In 2020, MLB became the first professional sports league to join the non-partisan Civic Alliance to help build a future in which everyone participates in shaping the United States. We proudly used our platform to encourage baseball fans and communities throughout our country to perform their civic duty and actively participate in the voting process. Fair access to voting continues to have our game's unwavering support."
Manfred and MLB have not yet announced a new host city for the All-Star Game, only saying they will continue with their plans to honor the late Henry Aaron, and that a new host city "will be announced shortly." Here are six possible landing spots for the 2021 All-Star Game.
1. American Family Field (Milwaukee)
The ballpark formerly known as Miller Park would seem to be a natural landing spot for the All-Star Game given MLB's plans to honor Aaron. Aaron played the first 12 years of his career with the Milwaukee Braves before the franchise moved to Atlanta, and he finished his career with two years with the Brewers. Milwaukee last hosted the All-Star Game in 2002.
2. Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles)
The Dodgers, the defending World Series champions, are slated to host the 2022 All-Star Game, and moving those plans up a year would seem to make sense. Alas, that likely will not happen. Los Angeles will reportedly keep the 2022 game and the 2021 game will be played elsewhere.
I’m told the All-Star Game will remain in place for Los Angeles in 2022, so it’ll be a different city this year.— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) April 2, 2021
Keeping the 2022 All-Star Game in Dodger Stadium allows for minimal disruption. MLB will already have to scramble to put the 2021 All-Star Game together. Why complicate 2022 as well? Let the Dodgers have a proper runway to their Midsummer Classic.
3. Globe Life Field (Arlington)
Last year MLB used Globe Life Field, home of the Texas Rangers, as its neutral site for the NLCS and World Series. It's a brand new ballpark and local guidelines would likely allow for maximum attendance if MLB is dead set on having a full house. The Rangers will have 100 percent attendance for their home opener next week before scaling back. MLB would be able to go with 100 percent attendance for the All-Star Game. Texas last hosted the All-Star Game in 1995.
4. Hiram Bithorn Stadium (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
How about this for an outside-the-box idea? MLB has played regular season games at Hiram Bithorn Stadium, mostly recently in 2018, and the Mets and Marlins were scheduled to play a three-game series there last April, prior to the shutdown. The downside: Hiram Bithorn Stadium only seats about 18,000 fans at full capacity, and full capacity may not even be possible amid the pandemic. MLB won't want such a small crowd for a jewel event, if at all possible.
5. Wrigley Field (Chicago)
The Friendly Confines last hosted the All-Star Game in 1990 and the Cubs have the second-longest All-Star Game drought. Only the Athletics (1987) have gone longer without an All-Star Game. RingCentral Coliseum is not exactly a venue worth highlighting though, and it seems MLB is waiting for the A's to secure a new ballpark before giving them another All-Star Game. It's been a long time since Wrigley Field hosted the All-Star Game and the Cubs are a recent World Series champion, which will help marketing efforts.
6. Yankee Stadium (New York)
The new Yankee Stadium has not yet hosted an All-Star Game and it is among the game's most recognizable venues. New York is the sport's largest market and the Yankees are the sport's most popular team, plus MLB's central offices are on Park Avenue, which could make a setup process short on time easier. The Yankees last hosted the All-Star Game in 2008, in the final year of the old Yankee Stadium.