Commentary

Phillies Should Campaign for 2020 All Star Game

PETCO Park, the venue for the 2016 Major League Baseball All Star Game, will host its first Mid-Summer Classic since its opening in 2004.  San Diego will hold its first All Star Game since 1992.  With 2016 marking 20 years since the All Star Game took place in Philadelphia, there is some speculation about when the next Mid-Summer Classic will come to the City of Brotherly Love.

Newer stadiums hosting the games has been the recent trend. Target Field, Citi Field, AT&T Park and now PETCO Park, have all gotten their share.  With the Marlins and Nationals hosting the 2017 and 2018 All Star Games respectively, Citizens Bank Park and Yankees Stadium will be the only “newer” stadiums that have yet to host.  Because the Yankees hosted in 2008 with the closing of “The House that Ruth Built,” it may be awhile before the event comes back to New York.  SunTrust Park, the Atlanta Braves new stadium that opens in 2017, will soon be added to the list of stadiums that need to host.

Tropicana Field also has yet to host an All Star Game, but with talks about potentially building a new stadium for the Rays, MLB could opt to wait until a new stadium is built.  The Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics haven’t hosted since the 1980’s, so they could be on the list to potentially host as well. The Dodgers have a higher likelihood due to recent renovations, while the A’s future stadium and location plans are up in the air. Renovations to Wrigley Field and The Rogers Centre also put Chicago and Toronto into the mix.  Choosing Kaufman Stadium as the venue in 2012 proves MLB would consider stadiums with recent renovations.  This leaves 2019 with a small list of possible contenders.

2019 leaves a pretty good chance for the Phillies, but that would mark the fifth straight year of home field advantage for the National League.  An American League team is due for 2019, so Citizens Bank Park might be up for the nod for 2020.

Citizens Bank Park would be a perfect venue for the Mid-Summer Classic. Could you imagine the Home Run Derby? Known to be a hitter-friendly park, the upper decks would be sure to get action in what would be expected to be a fun-to-watch event.  PETCO Park, a pitcher’s paradise, isn’t expected to have the most exciting Home Run Derby, but a derby at The Bank could go down as one of the best.

The Phillies front office should start putting in their bid for 2020.  With new baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, hosting the All Star Game has moved to a bidding process, much like the Super Bowl.  According to MLB.com, cities will be chosen with the best “merits of the city and ballpark, where the team and city can host the best All Star experience.”

Philadelphia doesn’t need to provide a resume for merits. The city’s history speaks for itself. As far as the stadium goes, Citizen Bank Park ranks among the top venues in the sport. Anybody who has been to Citizens Bank Park is familiar with its modern stadium style, massive jumbotron, delicious food and amazing views.  Xfinity Live! also helps if MLB is looking for places for fans to go near the stadium.   By the time 2020 rolls around, the Phillies might have a big group of stars making the team, similar to the Cubs with seven representatives this year. Between the Liberty Bell, cheesesteaks and Rocky, the broadcasters will surely have plenty to talk about.

PETCO Park is getting its turn this year. The Bank has been open just as long, and will get its share soon.  It may be several years away, but an All Star Game at Citizen Bank Park could happen within the next five years.  Major League Baseball should have its eyes on Philadelphia as it’s truly the perfect location.

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