In 2014, the Minnesota Twins found themselves the lucky hosts of the mid-summer classic at Target Field. For the first time since the stadium was built, a spectacle like event would be held to showcase its natural beauty. In 2015, the Major League Baseball All Star Game is headed to Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark, with the game headed to Petco Park in San Diego for the 2016 season. Just announced, the 2017 game will take place in Miami.
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Rob Manfred recently took over for former Commissioner, Bud Selig. Selling had previously stripped Miami of an All Star Game, and it appears that Manfred made one of his first orders of business reversing that situation. Miami’s new, Marlins Park will be the host of the 2017 game.
There’s more than a few storylines to consider with Manfred and Major League Baseball naming Marlins Park the recipient of the 2017 game, let’s start with those between the lines. For three straight years starting in 2015, the National League will host the All Star Game. With the rules formatted to make the contest count, this would seem to play towards somewhat of an unfair situation for the American League. There was some disgust that San Diego was awarded the 2016 game, and that will likely only be compounded with another NL team getting the 2017 game.
Now, outside of the lines of play, a few other storylines play into effect. Having been to three of the four stadiums mentioned (excluding Petco), there is something to be left desired with Marlins Park. Target Field represents a level of class that is matched only by the likes of AT&T Stadium, PNC Park, and Milwaukee’s Miller Park. Great American Ballpark is a great baseball stadium and offers of lot of excitement surrounding the game. As mentioned, personally I have not been to Petco Park, and can’t comment on the atmosphere, Marlins Park is in a category of its own however.
While the Marlins have moved on from Sun Life Stadium and built themselves a swanky new ballpark, it is difficult to get past many of the gimmicks. The green outfield wall comes across as a tacky unfinished product, the center field home run celebration looks like a child’s toy, and the fish tank may have been the most interesting feature in the park during that first season free-agent debacle. The Marlins built their home in a less than pleasant neighborhood, with one of the lone exciting features being the distant view of South Beach through the retractable windows.
Despite the park failing to fill up for nearly all Marlins games, it will be on full display come 2017. While the youth movement in the organization causes some hope for excitement, the fact is that many filling the stadium for the All Star Game will not be fans of the home team. Hoping to show off your stadium, it would stand to reason that you’d want a bit more to show off. Then again, we’re spoiled with Target Field.
One has to think 2018 sees the All Star Game headed back to the American League, but for now, we wait and see…
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