The Atlanta Braves, a record-breaking franchise, sent eight players to the All-Star Game on Tuesday in Seattle. And this week Major League Baseball announced that Atlanta was shortlisted for the hosting of the World Series in 2025.
Atlanta is “in the mix” to host the 2025 All-Star Game, Rob Manfred said.
— Gabe Burns (@GabeBurnsAJC) July 11, 2023
Bradley Smith of WSB Radio reports that MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed Atlanta’s inclusion on the list of possible host cities in 2025, along with Baltimore. Chicago, Toronto, and Boston.
Atlanta has not hosted an All-Star Game in Atlanta since 2000. However, you may remember that MLB originally selected Truist Park as the venue for the 2021 event. Stacey Abrams intervened after Georgia passed an election integrity law and forced MLB’s relocation of the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver.
Abrams published an op-ed on March 31, 2021, in USA Today, calling for a boycott of the Peach State:
To achieve change, the impassioned reaction to the racist and classist bill now law in Georgia is to boycott. The fate of major league baseball games, world-class soccer matches, college sports, and dozens of Hollywood films is at stake. Activists urge Georgians not to buy local products in order to show their outrage. I cannot argue against a person’s decision to choose their competitors until we hear clear and unequivocal statements from Georgia-based businesses that demonstrate they understand the issues.
USA Today went back and re-edited it to make Abrams’ comments about boycotts more palatable, but by then the damage was done. MLB decided to move the Midsummer Classic from Atlanta to Denver, despite Colorado’s similar voting laws and the fact that it had fewer early voting dates than Georgia.
In a statement, Commissioner Rob Manfred stated that relocating the All-Star Game this year and the MLB Draft was the best way for the sport to show its values. Major League Baseball supports the right to vote for all Americans and does not support restrictions on voting.
The area around Truist Park and the Battery was reportedly hit with a $100 million bill for moving the All-Star Game. The Braves won the World Series that year, despite the fact that many of these businesses were minority-owned. Manfred retreated a little when the Braves made it to the World Series. He praised the Braves’ relationship with the nearby Native American tribes.
What’s the difference between the All-Star Game in 2021 and the next one, which will be held two years later? Georgia’s law was strengthened this year. Will that cause MLB to be concerned?
Georgia’s elections since the law was passed have shown that it works. The number of minorities voting has increased, and the wait times have been significantly reduced. According to a poll conducted by the University of Georgia, 0% of black voters reported a negative voting experience in the midterm elections of 2022. The results were overwhelmingly in favor of Republicans.
It’s a bit crazy to think that Manfred or MLB will ever apologize to Atlanta Braves fans and to the state of Georgia. But it would be nice. If the league is looking to make amends, it would be best to bring the All-Star Game in 2025 to Truist Park — rather than take it away.