With the 2015 All-Star Game behind us, attention has turned to San Diego, where the Padres will play host to the 2016 game. Following that will be the 2017 game in Miami and the 2018 game in Washington, D.C. But who will host the 2019 All-Star Game?
Many factors are considered when making this decision, not least of which is how long it has been since a team hosted the game. The five teams that have gone the longest without hosting the All-Star Game, with the Los Angeles Dodgers having the longest drought by far, having most recently hosted in 1980. After that, it’s the Oakland Athletics (1987), the Chicago Cubs (1990), the Toronto Blue Jays (1991), and the Baltimore Orioles (1993), whose Oriole Park at Camden Yards started the recent wave of new, retro-themed ballparks. The Tampa Bay Rays have never hosted, although they didn’t begin play until 1998.
Furthermore, there are six active MLB stadiums that have not hosted an All-Star Game, half of which will host in the next three years. This leaves Tropicana Field (Tampa Bay), Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia, which last hosted in 1996), and the new Yankee Stadium (New York Yankees, which last hosted in 2008).
And finally, there is one new ballpark currently in the works, SunTrust Park in Cobb County, Georgia, which will host the Atlanta Braves starting in 2017.
This leaves us with the following short list:
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- Chicago Cubs
- Tampa Bay
- New York Yankees
- Atlanta Braves
Now, for some speculation on our part:
- After four consecutive National League ballparks, the American League is certainly due to host (even though the AL will technically be the home team in 2016, and presumably again in 2018). Beyond that, however, look for more NL parks to get the nod, due to difficult stadium situations in the AL cities that have waited the longest.
- MLB has a tendency to award the ASG to parks that are new or have been recently renovated, with Kansas City in 2012 being an example of the latter. This would seem to favor Los Angeles, Chicago, and Toronto: Dodger Stadium underwent renovations leading up to the 2013 season; Wrigley Field is in the midst of a four-year renovation project that started late last year; and the Rogers Centre is expected to have a natural grass playing field starting in 2018, along with other possible improvements.
- Tampa/St. Petersburg is an obvious candidate for hosting the game soon, but with its stadium situation still up in the air, MLB might wait to see how things unfold before committing to Tropicana Field, which underwent modest renovations before the 2014 season.
- The Oakland Athletics are actively seeking a replacement for its stadium, O.co Coliseum, and there’s talk of a new football stadium being planned for the site of the Coliseum, so it would stand to reason that the All-Star Game might not come to town until after the A’s have more certainty with respect to where they’ll be playing.
- Because Baltimore’s Oriole Park at Camden Yards was the first of many new, retro-themed ballparks to host the ASG in 1993, it doesn’t make sense for MLB to start cycling through those newer parks again until after more of the recently renovated parks get a chance to host. It would also be unusual for the 2019 ASG to be played so close to the site of the 2018 game (Washington, D.C.).
- Philadelphia is a likely candidate to host the game soon, but again, it seems unlikely that MLB would give the game to five consecutive NL teams.
- Atlanta almost certainly will have to wait a few years beyond the opening of SunTrust Park, until after Philadelphia has had its turn.
- The Dodgers will probably get to host before the Cubs, simply because they’ve waited ten years longer, but with a series of renovations to Wrigley Field slated to conclude in time for the 2019, it’s possible that Chicago could leapfrog L.A.
- Since the Yankees hosted as recently as 2008, it’s likely that they will be waiting for a while longer, although not necessarily for a full 30 years; remember that Pittsburgh had only a 12-year wait between 1994 and 2006.
Our best guess to host the 2019 All-Star Game? The Rogers Centre in Toronto, possibly followed by two or three more NL teams over the following four years. If the Rays or Athletics manage to resolve their current stadium sitations, look for them to be prioritized, but otherwise, the Yankees might get another turn.
There is much discussion elsewhere on the Internet about who is most deserving for the 2019 game. CBS Sports Network gives its assessment of the situation, without making a prediction. The American Spectator opines that the NL has had far too many All-Star Games lately and it needs to move back to AL stadiums. WaitingForNextYear.com (a Cleveland sports site) believes the Blue Jays will get 2019 and hopes that Cleveland will land 2020. The Baseball Continuum speculates about each location through 2024. Meanwhile, Reddit users continue to debate the possibilities.
Most recent ASG sites were selected about three years in advance, so it’s likely that we’ll know the host city for the 2019 All-Star Game sometime next year.
Mike Jorgensen contributed to this article.