Major League Baseball made it official today, giving the relocated 2021 All-Star Game to the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.
The game was moved from the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park because of the voting restriction law passed in Georgia. MLB’s announcement:
MLB makes it official.
“MLB 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.” pic.twitter.com/FmRJpy6F4E
— Maury Brown (@BizballMaury) April 6, 2021
That Home Run Derby is gonna be lit.
The Cubs have not hosted an All-Star Game at Wrigley Field since 1990, but were reportedly not a serious consideration to get this year’s relocated game. The rationale on that sourced by Bruce Levine is primarily about MLB not wanting to reward the City of Chicago:
“It appears the Cubs have been cast aside in part because they financed the Wrigley Field renovation project through private funds and money raised by ownership. MLB has often granted the game to cities that have put up public funding when building new ballparks in recent years.
Beyond that, MLB has viewed Wrigley Field as an awkward venue of sorts to host the All-Star Game because of the setup of the surrounding neighborhood. There’s little space to host ancillary All-Star events and parties in Wrigleyville, and moving them elsewhere in the city wouldn’t help the Cubs showcase their ballpark and the surrounding area.
Before Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot took office, the city had failed to support the team’s plan to re-route traffic around the stadium on game days. And hosting the All-Star Game comes with security risks, which are a little more complicated around Wrigley Field because of the cramped area with homes and adjacent buildings so close.
The city of Chicago also takes a hefty 12% amusement tax on tickets sold, and Wrigley Field is the only privately owned ballpark that’s subject to that. Those have all been viewed as red flags in the eyes of some league office executives when considering whether Wrigley Field should host an All-Star Game again.”
The series of events attached to the All-Star Game generate significant attention and revenues for the localities involved – not necessarily for the team/ballpark involved – so Major League Baseball has always viewed it as a reward for cities and states that support their teams (usually financially). Chicago has not always been altogether assistive when it comes to the Cubs and their unique ballpark situation, so it makes sense that MLB wouldn’t be eager to bring the game there in THAT regard.
… but also, come on. The Chicago Cubs are still one of the league’s marquee franchises, and a renovated and preserved Wrigley Field is one of the most important physical locations in the sport (it’s a National Historic Landmark, after all). It’s impossible to think that an All-Star Game won’t be coming over the next few years.