April 20, 2009: Remember the year-long farewell to Yankee Stadium and the fact that the 2008 MLB All-Star Game was played in "The House That Ruth Built." Just a few miles away, Shea Stadium also was open for its final season, but there weren't nearly as many baseball tears over "The House That Gooden-Strawberry-Carter-and-Piazza Built." Now in 2009 Phoenix has become the center of the sports universe, and the New York Mets might be paying the price for the latest example.
MLB said this month that the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chase Field will host the 2011 All-Star Game, the first time the city will host the game an the first time an MLB stadium with a swimming pool will host an ASG. Phoenix was the site of the 2009 NBA All-Star Game and the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale hosted Super Bowl XLII in 2008 and is expected to put in bids for future Super Bowls. So the next three MLB All-Star Games are now set: the 2009 ASG will be played July 14 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, the 2010 ASG will be played on July 13 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim and the game in Phoenix will be held on July 12, 2011.
That means the Mets' new ball park, Citi Field, won't be a possible site until at least 2013 since MLB likes to alternate between AL and NL host teams (with the exception of 2006-2007 when NL teams Pittsburgh and San Francisco went back to back). The Mets last hosted an All-Star Game in 1964, the year that Shea Stadium opened. Since 1960, the crosstown Yankees have hosted three All-Star Games - 1960, 1977, 2008 - with the '08 event a mass-media event fueled by MLB. Arizona has played at Chase Field since 1998, which would make it 13 years old when the All-Star Game festivities arrive, more than three times as old as Citi FIeld would be if the Mets get the game in 2013,. But that's still far enough away from Citi's opening season to make it seem like an afterthought, especially when compared to the honors that continue to be bestowed on Yankee Stadium.
"We're going to make this All-Star Game one to remember," Ken Kendrick, Arizona Diamondbacks managing general partner said during the announcement press conference. "Our community knows how to do large events and we've had stellar events here before, and the All-Star Game is really a culmination of that. We've hosted a World Series, now we have the All-Star Game. It just doesn't get any better on this." Mets' management won't get to say that about Citi Field at least for several more years. Back to Home Page