By Barry Janoff
July 27, 2016: WIth the dust from the MLB 2016 All-Star Game in San Diego having just settled — and the Home Run Derby baseballs hit by Giancarlo Stanton still rattling around PetCo Park — the official countdown to the 2017 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard has started.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and a group of dignitaries, executives and others were in Marlins Park in Miami to unveil the logo that would be used in conjunction with the game, scheduled for July 11, 2017, and such surrounding festivities as the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, T-Mobile Home Run Derby and FanFest in the Miami Beach Convention Center.
"The All-Star Game is not just a game. It's a week-long celebration of baseball, filled with community activities everyone in Miami can get involved with," said Manfred during a ceremony this afternoon prior to the Miami Marlins hosting the Philadelphia Phillies.
"I know Miami will be a great All-Star host and all of in at MLB can't wait to get here next summer," said Manfred.
Also on hand were Miami mayor Tomas Regalado, Marlins majority owner Jeffrey Loria, team president David Samson and former player Jeff Conine, who is known as "Mr. Marlin."
MLB and the Marlins released in conjunction with the new logo a promo spot proclaiming, "The city, the lights, the celebration. The game's brightest stage. The midsummer classic. Miami 2017. A week of festivities culminates in one memorable night. A chance to see stars, spectacle, history."
Although it is too early for official announcements, it is speculated that Marlins outfield Stanton would return to the Home Run Derby to defend his crown as part of a larger role as one of the team's hosts for the game and festivities.
Marlins Park, which has a retractable roof to enable games to be played in rain or South Florida heat, seats 37,000 for baseball but is averaging just over 21,300 per game this season, fourth worst in MLB.
The Marlins, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the franchise next year in conjunction with the first All-Star Game hosting duties in their history, are using the event to sell season tickets.
According to the Marlins' Web site, "Due to limited availability, there is no guarantee that tickets to the T-Mobile Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game presented by MasterCard will be made available to the General Public.
"All qualified 2016 Miami Marlins Season Ticket holders who renew their season ticket plan for the 2017 season will be guaranteed the opportunity to purchase ticket strips to the 2017 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard festivities.
"Fans who are not currently Marlins Season Ticket Holders, but want access to purchase 2017 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard ticket strips, can become a Marlins Season Ticket Holder by purchasing a qualified 2016 prorated ticket plan or by placing a deposit on 2017 Season Tickets today," per the Marlins.
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