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Topkin: MLB will continue spurning the Rays for All Star Game

The Rays are the only team in baseball to never host the All-Star Game.

MLB: SEP 30 AL Wild Card Series - Blue Jays at Rays Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

MLB has pulled the All-Star Game from the city of Atlanta, following the state of Georgia’s recently implemented law designed to restrict voter registration and turnout. According their press release,

Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box. In 2020, MLB became the first professional sports league to join the non-partisan Civic Alliance to help build a future in which everyone participates in shaping the United States. We proudly used our platform to encourage baseball fans and communities throughout our country to perform their civic duty and actively participate in the voting process. Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support

You can read their full statement here.

This is the second time a league has pulled such an event over a state’s politics in the last five years, following the NBA’s decision to remove their All-Star Game from North Carolina following a law negatively impacting LGBT citizens in that state.

While a new host city has not been named, as of publishing, it appears the Rays will continue to be the only one of baseball’s 30 franchises to never host an All-Star Game:

The Rays being ruled out of contention is mildly shocking, giving the plethora of tourism resources available to meet MLB’s needs in Tampa Bay, even during a pandemic — as demonstrated by the hosting of the Super Bowl just months ago.

Nevertheless, the Rays will have to continue to wait to receive this honor from Major League Baseball.

There are only five active stadiums in baseball that have not hosted an All-Star Game:

  1. Tropicana Field (1990)
  2. Citizens Bank Park (2004) - scheduled 2026
  3. New Yankee Stadium (2009)
  4. Truist Park (2017) - cancelled
  5. Globe Life Field (2020)

When MLB was forced to cancel the 2020 All-Star Game in Los Angeles, it announced the Dodgers and their renovated stadium would become the hosts in 2022. The Phillies will host in 2026 as a celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

That leaves 2021, 2023, 2024, 2025, and 2027 as the last opportunities for Tropicana Field to host an All-Star Game.

Will that day ever come?