‘the M’s’ home to hold 2023 Midsummer Classic


MLB All Star Game 2023 at T-Mobile Park Image: T-Mobile

When the Seattle Mariners (US) started down the path of bidding for the Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Game, the target was 2024 or later to host for a third time.

‘The Daily Herald’ stated that when MLB came back to the club earlier this year asking if 2023 was a possibility, the Mariners quickly kicked into gear.

The Seattle Mariners are an American professional baseball team based in Seattle (US). They compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League West division. The team joined the American League as an expansion team in 1977 playing their home games in the Kingdome.

The T-Mobile Park is a retractable roof baseball park in Seattle, Washington, United States. Owned and operated by the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District, it is the home stadium of the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball and has a seating capacity of 47,929 for baseball.

The Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization and the oldest major professional sports league in the world. As of 2021, a total of 30 teams play in Major League Baseball – 15 teams in the National League and 15 in the American League – with 29 in the United States and 1 in Canada.

The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the ‘Midsummer Classic’, is an annual professional baseball game sanctioned by Major League Baseball and contested between the all-stars from the American League and National League.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said recently, “I think with some of the shuffling that went on, (2023) became the more viable alternative. And I have to say, the Mariners did a fantastic job in terms of the up-tempo, the preparation. It takes a lot to pull off an All-Star Game, a lot of preparation and planning and (Mariners Chairman) John (Stanton) and his people did a fantastic job getting ready sooner.”

‘The Daily Herald’ further stated that Seattle was formally unveiled as the host of the 2023 Midsummer Classic recently, with the announcement being made inside the Space Needle with Hall of Famers Ken Griffey Jr. (baseball outfielder) and Edgar Martinez (American former professional baseball player) looking on.

Seattle’s first All-Star Game was in 1979 at the Kingdome, and it hosted again 22 years later in 2001 at Safeco Field (now T-Mobile Park).

The Kingdome was a multipurpose stadium located in the Industrial District neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, United States.

Twenty-two years later, the game will be back at what’s now T-Mobile Park.

Stated Stanton, “I believe that the 2023 All-Star Game will give us the opportunity to celebrate the entire region. I think you have to agree to me, looking out the window today, there is no nicer place in America than Seattle in the middle of summer.”

Seattle’s turn as host will make for three straight years when the game is played in the Western half of the country. This year’s All-Star Game was moved to Denver from Atlanta in April after Manfred made the decision to relocate the game because of a Georgia voting law that critics say will negatively affect communities of color. His decision generally was denounced by conservatives and praised by liberals.

The 2022 game will be held at the 56,000-capacity Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. It was originally scheduled to be there in 2020 before being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic which put the world on edge and the United States was badly bruised.

Manfred said he was “not in a position” to comment on any conversations about a future game in Atlanta and commended Seattle on being ready to host quicker than expected.

Added Manfred, “John and his people did a fantastic job getting ready sooner. You know our deepest hope is for baseball to return to its traditional kind of apolitical stance. We’re about entertaining our fans, and having an inclusive environment so that everybody can come and enjoy our games.”

Seattle’s bid was led by the Senior Vice-President Randy Adamack, who has been with the franchise for 44 of its 45 seasons.

Adamack said 2023 was part of the initial conversations but originally some of the “pieces of the puzzle weren’t fitting together”. There was talk of possibly looking at 2027 for the game and a chance to celebrate the 50th year of the franchise.

Adamack said when MLB reached out asking if 2023 was a possibility earlier this year, the biggest complication was securing hotels. Adamack estimated Seattle’s initial bid book was about 120 pages, much of it about hotel space – “It all came together in the last couple of months, and here we are.”

A key element to Seattle’s bid was a partnership with First and Goal, which operates the 72,000-capacity Lumen Field across the street from the Mariners ballpark. The home stadium for the National Football League (NFL) team Seattle Seahawks and the Major League Soccer (MLS) team Seattle Sounders FC, and the area surrounding the two venues will be used extensively for fan activities.

Added Adamack, “The other thing that is important to MLB is having the City support, the county and the State support, and we were able to communicate that in real tangible ways. Having the corporate support in the City to make it happen for the business community, the sports community, it’s a lot of entities and a lot of people coming together.”

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