Citizens Bank Park has never hosted an All-Star Game, a remarkable omission. The last time the Phillies hosted an All-Star Game was 1996, and the game was played at Veterans Stadium. So bringing a showcase event to Philadelphia on the occasion of America’s birthday seems fitting. From the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred will make the announcement Tuesday afternoon at a news conference at Independence Hall. He’ll be joined by Mayor Jim Kenney, Governor Tom Wolf, and Phillies managing partner John Middleton, along with current and former Phillies players.
A team usually receives an All-Star Game shortly after opening a new ballpark but the Phillies decided to wait until 2026 — 22 years after Citizens Bank Park’s debut — so it would come during what the city is hoping will be a busy summer in Philadelphia.
During America’s Bicentennial in 1976, the city hosted the baseball, basketball, and hockey all-star games along with the NCAA Final Four. The city has a chance to host a World Cup game in 2026 when the soccer tournament comes to North America. Other all-star games could follow baseball’s lead.
This is not a surprise: we speculated in the past that Citizens Bank Park would be a likely choice for the 2026 All-Star Game. With Progressive Field hosting the 2019 game and Dodger Stadium hosting the 2020 game, the speculation will next be on who hosts 2021-2025. SunTrust Park, the current Yankee Stadium, Citizens Bank Park and Tropicana Field are the only active MLB facilities that have yet to host a Midsummer Classic, but you can probably eliminate the Trop from consideration. After the completion of the 1060 Project, Wrigley Field would also be a likely candidate to host an All-Star Game in the near future: the Friendly Confines has not been the site of an All-Star Game since 1990. And, of course, the Texas Rangers are opening a new ballpark, Globe Life Field, in 2020, and MLB loves to showcase new ballparks with All-Star Games.