SBJ/May 14-20, 2012/Events and Attractions

For Citi Field, All-Star Game is almost official

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MLB and the New York Mets finally are planning to announce as soon as this week that Citi Field will be the site for the 2013 All-Star Game, industry sources said, at last giving formal confirmation to one of the sport’s worst-kept secrets.

For more than a year, Citi Field has been the widely expected choice for the event. When questioned about it 10 months ago at the 2011 All-Star Game in Phoenix, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig smiled broadly and said, “I’d say their chances look pretty good.” More recently, at owners meetings in January, Selig pledged to make announcements on both the 2013 and 2014 All-Star games “in the near future.”

Citi Field will finally be announced as 2013 MLB All-Star Game host.
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
Since then, MLB has continued to grapple with New York City officials on the complex logistics of staging baseball’s midseason showcase in the nation’s largest market. Unlike when it is played in smaller cities such as Kansas City, the host for this year’s game, the MLB All-Star Game is just one of many prominent events held at any given time in New York, lending a different dynamic to the negotiations. MLB also faces far higher operational costs for an All-Star Game next year at Citi Field than for any prior midsummer classic.

Still, the extra complications would appear to be worth the effort. The 2008 game at the former Yankee Stadium set several event records, including economic impact, that still stand.

Next year’s All-Star Game is less than 14 months away, giving the Mets an unusually short period to prepare. MLB typically announces the All-Star Game host 23 to 31 months before the event itself.

MLB and Mets executives declined to comment.

MLB owners will convene in New York this week for regularly scheduled meetings. No significant action items are on the agenda, and owners will gather as the league shows some forward momentum. Attendance this season was up 4.5 percent as of press time, right in line with preseason league projections.

Also likely to be discussed, at least informally, is the stadium saga of the Oakland A’s, who remain fervent in their desire to move to San Jose. The San Francisco Giants, who hold territorial rights to San Jose, are just as adamant in their desire to retain dominion over the Silicon Valley hub, and a Selig-commissioned study group assigned to the issue is now in its fourth year of work.

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