Well, it’s about time! The best in the game are coming to Ohio. It’s been about a decade since that shiny new venue was opened, and it was recently announced that it will host its first All-Star game in 2013. But enough about hockey. This isn’t a Blue Jackets blog. So what about the Reds? When will Great American Ballpark host its first All-Star game?
Previously, the longest Cincinnati had gone without hosting an All-Star game was 18 years. The current drought stands at nearly a quarter century. The last time the Reds hosted the Midsummer Classic was in 1988. There are college graduates who weren’t even born in 1988.
Can you imagine how great an All-Star game in Cincinnati would be? The Queen City is known for being a great baseball town, and its downtown is looking better than ever. Tourists would flock to Fountain Square or The Banks, or across the river to Newport.
Think about the Home Run Derby. Would somebody hit the top of the Power Stacks? Would somebody launch one that ends up in the Ohio River? I don’t know if it’s physically possible, but could somebody hit the scoreboard? I’d love to see them try.
I think we’ll get to see that by the end of the decade. At least, I hope so. Commissioner Selig often gives the game to cities with newer stadiums, or cities that haven’t hosted in many years. Although the Reds have only played there since 2003, Great American Ballpark is the second-oldest active park in the majors to have never hosted, behind only the Rays’ Tropicana Field.
But I doubt the Reds will get the game too soon. Hosting duties have traditionally alternated between National League and American League ballparks, meaning the NL is due to host again in 2013. No site has been announced yet, but the favorites appear to be Citi Field (NY Mets) and Nationals Park, and both the Mets and Nationals arguably have stronger cases than the Reds.
The Mets, Nationals, and Dodgers are the only three NL clubs with longer droughts than the Reds, but Dodger Stadium has hosted in the past. The Mets haven’t hosted since 1964, the longest streak in the league, and they have a new ballpark. One thing working against them is that the game was just played in New York at old Yankee Stadium in 2008.
The Nationals, meanwhile, haven’t hosted since they were the Expos (1982). The city of Washington hasn’t hosted since 1969. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing the nation’s capitol get the gig in 2013, and the Mets in 2015.
The Cubs, however, could scramble the schedule. They are lobbying to host the 2014 game, which would coincide with the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field. Still, even if the Nationals, Cubs, Mets, and Dodgers all get the game before the Reds, that would mean Cincinnati, assuming it is next in line, would be awarded host duties in 2020.
Please, please, please don’t make us wait any longer than that, Commissioner Selig.