Nationals, Reds Among Teams Hoping To Host MLB All-Star Game In The Near Future
The Nationals are "hoping to bring the All-Star Game to Washington soon, and it makes sense for both them and baseball on many, many levels," according to Adam Kilgore of the WASHINGTON POST. They can "show off Nationals Park and, perhaps, new development around the stadium." MLB can "continue to strengthen and showcase a major market still less than a decade old." Also, new parks "almost always get the all-star game." The ASG next year "will be held at Citi Field in New York," and it is something close "to an open secret that Target Field and Minnesota will host" in '14. The thinking "within baseball is that Nationals Park will get the game soon, possibly within five years" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 7/9). In DC, Rick Snider writes under the header, "District Is Deserving Host." Snider asks, "What will it take for [MLB Commissioner Bud] Selig to fulfill his pledge for the Midsummer Classic to return to Washington after 43 years and counting?" DC is "bidding for the 2015 game along with Miami and Cincinnati, but it could be 2017 -- 10 seasons after Nationals Park opened." Snider: "And they say the federal government moves slowly." The city has "overcome every barrier Selig presented with a public-financed stadium, rejuvenated neighborhood, solid attendance and coming waterfront complex." Yet, the ASG "remains a fantasy contest." Snider writes, "There's something foul about this" (WASHINGTON EXAMINER, 7/10). Selig said yesterday, "Is the game in better shape now? Remarkably so. The only people who are hurt and angry now are those who aren't invited. Cities are fighting for All-Star Games now. Years ago, in the 90's, I had to beg people to take it, and I'm not joking" (USA TODAY, 7/10). Meanwhile, in Cincinnati, Paul Daugherty writes, "We’ve heard forever that a sure way to land an ASG, and the plum pub that attends it, is to build a new ballpark. Great American Small Park has been open for 10 years. We haven’t sniffed the game. ... There's no excuse now. Not after Tuesday night's locale" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 7/10).
SAFETY DANCE: The AP's Bill Draper noted K.C. officials have "spent several months coordinating with local, state and federal agencies and the U.S. Army to make sure tens of thousands of baseball fans who come to the city will be safe." A delegation of K.C. police officers "traveled to Phoenix last year" for the '11 All-Star Game. The department also "tested its security plan at the city's St. Patrick's Day parade and in an exercise in April at Kauffman Stadium." City police have "worked with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, FBI, Department of Homeland Security and several other agencies to create its game plan." K.C. Police Major Rich Lockhart said that the Univ. of Foreign Military & Cultural Studies at Fort Leavenworth, "which normally reviews battle plans for the U.S. Army, has examined the security plan and found it to be sound." MLB VP/Security & Facility Management Bill Bordley is "impressed with the security measures that are in place." Unlike last year's game in Phoenix, where most events "were consolidated in a fairly tight geographical area downtown, Kansas City is playing host to activities scattered around town, including in some impoverished neighborhoods where residents say it's best if outsiders are gone by dark." Bordley: "It's not a problem or a challenge that hasn't been dealt with before. The commissioner makes a concerted effort to reach out to all parts of the community and wants to create a family-friendly environment throughout the city" (AP, 7/9).