The Philadelphia Phillies haven’t hosted an All-Star Game since 1996, eight years before Citizens Bank Park opened. It will be another seven years before the midsummer classic returns to Philadelphia, but it appears there is a set year for the first All-Star Game at Citizens Bank Park.
Matt Breen of The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that MLB plans to host a press conference at City Hall next Tuesday to announce that Philadelphia will host the 2026 MLB All-Star Game. 2026 will be the 250th anniversary of the United States of America.
It’s been one of the worst kept secrets in baseball that the Phillies were holding out on making a serious push to host an All-Star Game because they wanted to host the All-Star Game during America’s Semiquincentennial anniversary. James Wagner, writing for The Washington Post, noted as far back as 2015 that the Phillies wanted to host the 2026 All-Star Game. In April of 2017, Ed Rendell – the former mayor of Philadelphia and governor of Pennsylvania – told Glen Macnow of SportsRadio 94 WIP that Philadelphia was “bidding to be the official city of the the 250th anniversary.” Rendell added that Philadelphia was hoping to secure the NBA and NHL All-Star Games, as well as Super Bowl 60. Whether Philadelphia is able to secure the other events remains to be seen, but the MLB All-Star Game can now be checked off the list.
As Sports Talk Philly‘s Matt Albertson noted, Philadelphia also hosted the 1976 MLB All-Star Game, during the 200th anniversary of America. Even if it means 30 years in between All-Star Games, it makes sense that the All-Star Game will be returning to Philadelphia, the original capital of the United States, in such a historic year.
The National League has won all three previous All-Star Games played in Philadelphia. In 1952, the National League won the All-Star Game 3-2 at Shibe Park. Eventual National League MVP Hank Sauer – who played left field for the Chicago Cubs – drove in two of the National League’s three runs. In 1976, the National League – whose roster included Pete Rose (not yet a Phillie), Mike Schmidt, Larry Bowa, Greg Luzinski, Dave Cash and Bob Boone – defeated the American League 7-1 at Veterans Stadium. The All-Star Game returned to Veterans Stadium in 1996, with Norristown native Mike Piazza riding a first inning home run to All-Star Game MVP.
2026 will be the 23rd season of baseball at Citizens Bank Park. Over the past two offseasons, the Phillies have completed some renovations to Citizens Bank Park, which included moving Ashburn Alley to the left field entrance, adding a wiffle ball field (affectionately referred to as “The Yard”) and welcoming Shake Shack, among other new restaurants, to the stadium. It’s unclear at this time if there are plans for any other new additions to the park before 2026.
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