Coors Field chosen as replacement host for 2021 All-Star Game
By James Wagner
After pulling the 2021 All-Star Game from suburban Atlanta because of a new Georgia voting law that is viewed as restrictive, Major League Baseball has found a new home for its marquee event: Coors Field in Denver.
The switch was confirmed by a person directly familiar with the situation who was not authorized to speak publicly because the official announcement was expected later Tuesday. ESPN first reported the new site.
Following days of mounting pressure to take a stand, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced on Friday that he was removing the July 13 game from the Atlanta Braves’ stadium, Truist Park, while also removing the amateur draft from the venue, because he decided that “the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating.” In making his decision, Manfred spent a week talking and listening to, among others, MLB club owners, team and central office executives, and current and former players.
President Joe Biden joined the growing call for the relocation of the game because of the voting law, which he and civil rights groups predicted would have an outsize impact on people of color. Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola, two large sponsors of the Braves, decried the law a few days before MLB’s announcement. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and other Republicans have since lashed out at the league and Manfred.
The Braves said they were “deeply disappointed” by Manfred’s decision and called businesses, employees and fans in Georgia “victims” of his decision. MLB said it would continue with its plans to celebrate former Atlanta player and executive Hank Aaron, a Hall of Famer who died earlier this year, during the All-Star week festivities.
After Manfred’s announcement, officials from various states and cities lobbied to host the All-Star Game, including the mayor of Milwaukee, where Aaron began and ended his major-league career.
But in the end, MLB chose Denver. The Rockies last hosted the All-Star Game in 1998, with the American League winning, 13-8, in the highest-scoring Midsummer Classic in MLB history.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, who were slated to host the 2020 All-Star Game that was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, will host the 2022 game.