Nationals owner Ted Lerner flew into Kansas City last night for the All-Star Game, bringing the full Nationals contingent with him on his private jet. For the first time since Lerner bought the team in 2006, the Nationals have a firm place at the center of baseball’s midsummer s
howcase event. In a few years, with a push from ownership, they could be hosting one.
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. They can show off Nationals Park and, perhaps, new development around the stadium. Baseball 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. St. Louis got it in 2009. Arizona’s Chase Field hosted last season. The game next year will be held at Citi Field in New York. It is something close to an open secret that Target Field and Minnesota will host in 2014.
The thinking within baseball is that Nationals Park will get the game soon, possibly within five years. There are some obstacles and other teams that could step in front. Petco Park in San Diego and Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia still have yet to host the game. Wrigley Field, which turns 100 in 2014, could get the game. As the 25th anniversary of Camden Yards creeps up, the Orioles could make a case.
The bottom line is, an All-Star Game in Washington is a good bet. The Nationals absolutely want to host the game and Commissioner Bud Selig cares about a thriving Washington market. The Midsummer Classic has not been in the nation’s capital since 1969 at RFK Stadium
1962 at D.C. (now RFK) Stadium. It is about time that changes, and it probably will.