The Cubs may apply for the All-Star Game at Wrigley Field in the near future, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday.
The next opening for an All-Star Game is 2019, as Miami and Washington will host the games in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Wrigley Field is currently under a long-term renovation that’s expected to be completed by spring 2019.
When asked if the ongoing rehabilitation — and the uncertainty that can come with it — would preclude the Cubs from getting the Midsummer Classic the next time one is awarded, Manfred didn’t express any concern.
“We are committed out pretty well right now,” Manfred said. “I don’t think the renovation has to be complete in order to consider Wrigley for a possible All-Star Game.”
Since 1933 when the All-Star Game was created by the Chicago Tribune sports editor Arch Ward, the Cubs have hosted three times. They last hosted the All-Star Game in 1990. The Cubs also previously had hosted the game in 1947 and 1962 (the second one). Between 1959 and 1962, MLB had two All-Star games each season.
The Cubs have shown great interest in hosting the game since the Ricketts family purchased the franchise in October of 2009.
“It has been a long time (since they hosted),” Manfred said. “It is an iconic location. It is a question of how far out do we want to be committed now? We will be giving consideration (past 2018) shortly.”
In May visit to Wrigley Field, Manfred said, “Chicago certainly would be a great venue for us.”
The Cubs were pushing for the game in 2016 — the 100-year anniversary of the franchise playing at Wrigley Field — but fell behind in their quest to refurbish the ballpark, due in large part to politics with the city and rooftop owners.
“We are lucky right now, because we have high demand for All-Star Games,” Manfred said. “Franchises want All-Star Games. They have become great events for marketing of the game. We are going to have a lot of deserving franchises competing for games in the coming years. This is a positive for the overall health of the game.”
The economic impact on a big city like Chicago could mean more than $150 million in revenue during an All-Star week. When the Mets hosted the game in 2013, the economic impact on New York was listed at $148 million in city revenue.