An announcement is expected before Monday’s season opener to name Nationals Park the host of the 2018 All-Star Game, a person familiar with the situation said. The Nationals host the New York Mets on Monday, and Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred will be on hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Washington hasn’t had a baseball all-star game since the Senators hosted the game at RFK Stadium in 1969. The Montreal Expos, the franchise that was moved to the District by MLB, hosted the game in 1982.
Under the Lerner family, the Nationals have made a strong push to host the game and, according to two people familiar with the situation, including a high-ranking official, the team has already been told it will host the 2018 game; it was simply a matter of when the announcement would be made. Monday is the perfect chance: The new commissioner will be in town, the Nationals are celebrating their 10th anniversary and it’s opening day.
There have been hints over the past few weeks. Last month, the Nationals publicly announced a bid submission. Mayor Muriel Bowser referenced the 2018 game in her State of the District speech last week. There’s a new banner in left field at Nationals Park but it was covered up during Saturday’s exhibition game.
This year’s all-star game is in Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark, followed by 2016 in San Diego’s Petco Park and 2017 in Miami’s Marlins Park.
Ten of the 14 new stadiums built since 2000 are in the National League. Excluding Petco Park and Marlins Park, four new stadiums have yet to host an all-star game: Tropicana Field in Tampa, Yankee Stadium in New York, Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia (the Phillies are waiting to bid for the 2026 edition to commemorate when America turns 250) and Nationals Park.