Cleat Geeks

MLB All-Star Game for sale?

Baseball has a new Commissioner, Rob Manfred. He recently did an interview with ESPN and was asked about the city selection process for the annual All-Star Game. “One of the things that I am going to try to do with All-Star Games is — and we’ll make some announcements in the relatively short-term — I am looking to be in more of a competitive-bidding, Super Bowl-awarding-type mode, as opposed to [saying], `You know, I think Chicago is a good idea,’” he replied.

So the almighty dollar wins out again over tradition. Usually, MLB alternates the mid-summer classic between leagues, especially since now the winner of the contest receives home field advantage in the World Series. This years festivities will be held by the National League specifically by the Reds in Cincinnati at Great American Ball Park.

Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. Site for the 2015 All-Star Game.

Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. Site for the 2015 All-Star Game.

Next year the event is scheduled to take place in Petco Park in San Diego, also home to a National League club. It is kind of an unwritten rule that if you build a new ball park or give an existing ball park a hefty renovation, that you will also get to host an All-Star Game. Recently, there has been a flood of new ball parks, and MLB got behind on granting new parks an All-Star Game. This fact is cemented by simply looking at GABP and realizing that it opened in 2003 while Petco opened in 2004. I say again because, speaking of the Cincinnati Reds, they were always granted the unofficial right to open every baseball season in their own ball park about an hour before all the other start times in recognition of them being baseball’s first professional team.

Petco Park in San Diego home of the 2016 All-Star Game.

Petco Park in San Diego home of the 2016 All-Star Game.

But, when ESPN petitioned for a Sunday Night game the night before the traditional Monday opening, that tradition was trumped by the almighty dollar. Since then baseball has opened in foreign lands and it looks like it will open this year in a stadium that will not be ready in time.

With that being said, the Washington Nationals and the Miami Marlins have both opened new parks recently and will be expecting that unwritten rule to apply to them when it comes to hosting an All-Star Game.

Manfred didn’t go into the specifics about how the bidding process would work, but Jayson Stark of hears from a source that they’ll consider the “merits of the city and ballpark, and which team and city can produce the best ‘All-Star experience.’”

I understand that baseball is a business, and wants to make as much money as possible, but how much tearing down of tradition is there going to be in the process? If it is truly going to be rewarded to the city that can produce the “best All-Star experience” then it is going to become just like the Sunday and Monday night games on ESPN. The only teams that will be featured are the “big market clubs.” Honestly, I think it makes more sense to do just the opposite. The All-Star Game should be used as a platform to promote some of the small and medium sized markets in baseball on a national stage, such as a Cincinnati or a San Diego.

I am just scared that MLB is going to allow the midsummer classic to become All-Star Game for sale and breaking more traditions along the way.

One Comment

  1. all star game 2015 tickets mlb

    April 3, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    I use Safari and can’t see half pages.

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