When Will Citizens Bank Park Host an MLB All-Star Game?
It has now been 20 years since the MLB All-Star Game last came to Philadelphia, since the Phillies hosted the game at Veteran's Stadium.
When that game was held back in 1996, it had been 20 years since the last one during the Bicentennial year of 1976.
Some Phillies fans have expressed concern that there has not yet been a Midsummer Classic held at Citizens Bank Park since the beautiful retro venue opened back in 2004.
With such a gorgeous facility, a city proven capable of hosting and supporting the various activities surrounding the game such as the All-Star FanFest, and with it being over two decades since we have hosted, it's a legitimate question - when does Citizens Bank Park get its first MLB All-Star Game opportunity?
There are a few things that Phillies fans need to consider, one of which is certainly that it ain't all about us. There are other teams and cities waiting.
Four MLB venues have never hosted an MLB All-Star Game. The other three are Tropicana Field in Saint Petersburg, Florida, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, the new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, home of the, well, you know. And the new SunTrust Park opening in Atlanta next year.
In addition, we are not the only town waiting for over two decades . Five clubs have not hosted in at least that long: Baltimore (1993), Toronto (1991), Oakland (1987), the Cubs at Wrigley (1990), and the gorgeous Dodger Stadium all the way back in 1980.
The LA area did get an All-Star Game as recently as 2010, when the Anaheim Angels played host, while the city of Chicago had one with the White Sox hosting back in 2003.
The next two MLB All-Star venues have already been announced, and this may not be good news for Phillies fans wishing it would come quick.
Those two cities? The Phils' NL East rivals in Miami (2017) and Washington (2018) have the next two games. Would MLB put three straight in the NL East? Not likely.
In fact, the Phillies themselves have already tipped their hands as to when the club would next be looking to host an All-Star Game, planning to bid aggressively for the 2026 game when the nation is celebrating its 250th birthday.
So there you have it, Phillies fans. That is a very likely and realistic timeline. Start planning tentatively now.
Where might the game go from 1919-25? I would have to say that among those seven seasons, you have to feel that the new Yankee Stadium is going to get one, that Wrigley Field will get one, and that Camden Yards gets one.
SunTrust may get one after it opens down in Atlanta as well, probably out into the early 2020's at some point.
The other two may end up in Toronto and Dodger Stadium. I just don't see a scenario where MLB takes this showcase to either Tampa or Oakland.
Start saving your money, my fellow Phillies fans. Meanwhile, I'll be 64 years old in the summer of 2026, God willing.
I can tell you this, if I'm around, I'll be doing all that I can to get to the game, and will certainly be attending the FanFest, which I did back in 1996.