The Nationals want to host a future all-star game in Washington – The Post
If you are hoping for the All-Star Game to come to D.C. be prepared to wait because I’m convinced it isn’t coming soon, even though it hasn’t been here since 1969.
Twenty-six cities have hosted the all-star game since RFK Stadium hosted it two generations ago. The Nationals and the District would like that to change, and they expect it will. They have been waiting since Nationals Park opened in 2008 to bring the Midsummer Classic to the nation’s capital. The Nationals have petitioned the commissioner’s office and the city has planned for the showcase eventually to come.
It will be great when it comes here and hopefully it’ll do so before my son is too old to get the most out of the experience.
Development around Nationals Park – though the area near the ballpark has grown quite well, the choice locations behind centerfield remain unbuilt or underutilized. The 2008 economic crisis delayed what was supposed to open in 2009 indefinitely. Elsewhere, the neighborhood is really coming together nicely.
Other NL teams want it – San Diego, Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Miami have all opened new ballparks since 2000. Philly seems content to wait until 2026, the sestercentennial of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, so they aren’t an issue. The Marlins and their monstrosity of a park could use a boost since Miami is a terrible spectator sports town. San Diego hasn’t had one yet and the Padres have been playing in Petco Park since 2003. Cincinnati is getting the 2015 game — why didn’t they wait until 2019 to make it an even 150 years (that’s the “sesquicentennial” – can Jack Hicks give me a ding?) since the then Red Stockings went pro? The Los Angeles Dodgers also want it, having not hosted since 1980.
Baltimore Orioles – The biggest threat to the D.C.’s All-Star aspirations is 60-90 minutes up the Baltimore/Washington Parkway. MLB commissioner Bud Selig has coddled his friend, Orioles owner Peter Angelos, for years at the expense of D.C. fans and the Nationals. The corrupt bargain of giving Angelos the overwhelming majority of the Nats TV rights has done little but line his pocket — the Orioles success isn’t from increased payroll, but from hiring a competent baseball man (Andy McPhail) who was then run out of town and lots of luck. So, if Angelos wants something, just assume that Selig will give it to him until proven otherwise. If and when Selig favors Angelos with an All-Star Game again, assume add another at least another five years to the wait for D.C. In fact, it would probably be at least 10 given Selig’s way of doing business and seemingly unwillingness to leave the commissioner’s office.
In addition to being fun, the ramifications for hosting an All-Star Game are big for the District and to a lesser extent, the suburbs:
Ribeiro said bringing the game to Washington would bring an “undeniable” economic boost and allow the city to “showcase the wonderful progress the District has made in the last 10 or 15 years.”
In planning the all-star game, the Nationals and the city would work with Events DC. President and chief executive Greg O’Dell said there had not been a study to measure the financial boost, but that MLB estimated most cities generate a $50 million windfall from hosting the game.
When MLB was haggling with the city council over the ballpark funding, I wish I had thought of this — get in writing, a guarantee that MLB would award DC two All-Star Games during the life of the lease. I don’t know if MLB would have gone for it, but it would have been nice to have in play.
LAST YEAR’S POST
A PHILLY TAKE