It turns out that the Washington Nationals will have to wait even longer to have the first All-Star Game at Nats Park. According to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, Major League Baseball will announce within the next week that the Miami Marlins will be the hosts for the 2017 All-Star Game. For the third consecutive year, a National League team will be the hosts for the Midsummer’s Classic.
For the Marlins, it will be their first All-Star Game in South Florida and it will be played at Marlins Park, which has been home to Miami since 2012. The Marlins’ franchise had been turned down at hosting the event twice in the years 2012 and 2000. In fact, the 2000 game was supposed to be in Florida, but then Commissioner Bud Selig gave it to the Braves after the Marlins dismantled their 1997 World Champion team.
As I wrote about last week, the new Commissioner, Rob Manfred, was going to implement a bidding process to determine the hosts of future All-Star Games after the game was awarded to PETCO Park after the 2016 season. Even with that new process, Selig still wanted to see teams that built new stadiums get rewarded with the game and the events that include the Futures Game, the Legends & Celebrities Softball Game, and the Home Run Derby.
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Even in its short history, Marlins Park has hosted some major sporting events such as the 2013 World Baseball Classic and the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl this past December for college football. That being said, one of the perks of getting this game for the Marlins franchise is the chance to showcase one of the top players in the game, Giancarlo Stanton, who signed a 13-year, $325 million contract this offseason.
If you are a Nationals fan, you have to be wondering when is it going to be our turn? The Nation’s Capital put on an excellent show during the NHL Winter Classic back in January. Considering that the team built the park in 2008, it will now be at least one decade since the ballpark’s opening that the Lerner family might get the chance to host the Midsummer Classic.
When you look at the Nationals chances for future seasons, it would seem unlikely that the 2018 All-Star Game would be awarded to a National League team for the fourth straight year. However, Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post wrote back in January that the Nationals are still the leading candidate to host the game that season.
If they don’t get it for 2018, let’s look to 2019. Washington would once again be one of the teams in the running, but will a newly renovated Wrigley Field in Chicago get picked or the new Yankee Stadium, which by then will have been opened for a decade.
Currently, there are four ballparks that have yet to play hosts to the All-Star Game. Those parks are Yankee Stadium, Nats Park, the Phillies’ Citizens Bank Park (opened in 2004) and the Rays’ Tropicana Field (opened in 1998). So, for now, the Washington Nationals will once again have to wait their turn to host the All-Star Game.