Rockford, Illinois News

MLB All-Star Game relocates to Denver

DENVER — Major League Baseball announced today that the 2021 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard and its surrounding events will be hosted by the Colorado Rockies.

The national broadcast of the All-Star Game on FOX will be held Tuesday, July 13. Baseball’s 91st Midsummer Classic will be the second ever in Denver, joining the 1998 event at Coors Field.

The draft is still expected to be held as part of the All-Star festivities, and is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, July 11, at a to-be-determined venue in Denver.

Major League Baseball said in a statement that it chose the Rockies because they were already in the bidding process to host a future All-Star Game. The Rockies had supplied a detailed plan for hotel, event space and security that took months to assemble, and MLB staff had already made several site visits to Denver. In addition, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock have both committed to provide the necessary facilities and services needed to support this year’s festivities.”

Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said: “Major League Baseball is grateful to the Rockies, the City of Denver and the State of Colorado for their support of this summer’s All-Star Game. We appreciate their flexibility and enthusiasm to deliver a first-class event for our game and the region. We look forward to celebrating our sport’s best players and entertaining fans around the world.”

Rockies Chief Operating Officer Greg Feasel said he is confident the organization along with the city, state, VISIT DENVER and the Denver Sports Commission are capable of putting on a event in a relatively quick time frame.

“Summer in Colorado is something everyone in the country should experience, and we embrace this opportunity to show off our beautiful ballpark and everything our city, state and region have to offer,” Feasel said.

The Los Angeles Dodgers remain the hosts of the 2022 All-Star Game, as previously announced. It will be the first Midsummer Classic at historic Dodger Stadium since 1980.

The decision comes after MLB announced last week that it would relocate the All-Star Game and Draft from Atlanta in response to the passage last month of S.B. 202, a Georgia law that President Joe Biden recently criticized, saying that it will restrict voting access for residents of the state.

Manfred said in a statement that the decision to move the All-Star Game was “the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport” and was made after consultation with teams, former and current players, the MLB Players Association and The Players Alliance, among others.

Though the game will no longer take place in Atlanta, the 2021 Midsummer Classic — scheduled for Tuesday, July 13 — will still celebrate the memory of the late Hank Aaron, an Atlanta icon who passed away on Jan. 22. MLB will also move forward with planned investments to support local communities in Atlanta as part of the All-Star Legacy Projects.

MLB’s decision was not without precedent among the major sports.

In the summer of 2016, the NBA moved the location of its 2017 All-Star Game (held the following February) from Charlotte to New Orleans in objection to North Carolina House Bill 2, which limited anti-discrimination protections in the state.

In March 1991, NFL owners voted to move the 1993 Super Bowl from Phoenix to Pasadena, Calif., after Arizona voters elected not to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a paid holiday. Arizona eventually recognized MLK Day and was awarded a Super Bowl in 1996 and again in 2008.