Future MLB All-Star Game host venues to be up for bid
New Major League Baseball commissioner Robert Manfred has been offering a lot of thoughts and visions for his league in the first few weeks, and today he dropped another bombshell. Instead of rotating All-Star Game host venues between leagues in alternating seasons and generally following a “who hasn’t had it in a while” approach, the Midsummer Classic will be up for bid. Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports on an interview with Manfred and quoted him as follows:
“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,'”.
Lest North-siders worry that it was a blow at their chances at the game, Manfred clarified (via Stark)
Manfred did say, however, that Chicago would be a “great market” for an All-Star Game. Wrigley Field last hosted the All-Star Game in 1990.
I read this as additional stratification between the “haves” and “have nots” of MLB revenue. Let’s face it, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, or Boston can offer a bit more in terms of local attractions, rich baseball history, and sentimentality than an Arizona, Arlington, or Atlanta (errr, Gwinnett County).
Robert Manfred has been a bit surprising in his first month of service. Not for anything that radical, but most expected he would continue the “steady as she goes” mentality of his predecessor Bud Selig. Instead, he’s come out and made statements about PED users candidacy in the Hall of Fame, banning defensive shifts, speeding up the game, and now this. In the long run it’s probably good to have new thought. I’m not completely sold that I like Robert Manfred’s ideas yet. Time will tell.
– David Whitlock
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