It’s been 28 years since the Baltimore Orioles hosted the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, and Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott is working to change that.
Working hand in hand with the Orioles, Scott is hoping to bring the All-Star Game back to Baltimore for the first time since 1993. In the 26 All Star Games since then only 10 have been hosted by American League teams.
This year’s All Star Game was moved from Atlanta to Denver after a controversial voting law was passed in Georgia. The Orioles were one of several teams that reached out to Major League Baseball in an effort to host the All-Star Game.
“We’re going to see how we can bring it back because let’s be very clear there has not been an All-Star Game, an All-Star [Week], to the magnitude of that one at Oriole Park, the ballpark that changed them all,” Scott said on Glenn Clark Radio April 9. “There hasn’t been a home run derby like the one where Ken Griffey Jr. hit the warehouse since then. We know that MLB understands and knows that and we need to bring it back to Baltimore.”
In early February, the Orioles announced that the team reached an agreement with the Maryland Stadium Authority to extend Camden Yards’ lease for two more seasons until 2023, and Scott says there’s no doubt in his mind that the Orioles will remain in Baltimore long past that.
“I am just as comfortable about the Orioles wanting to be in Baltimore forever the same way that I am about me being here,” Scott said. “They’ve made it very clear to me that they have no intentions of going anywhere and I believe them. We’re going to do everything we can do to support them, to continue to be here, but also to continue to be such a great partner, not just through baseball but throughout the community.”
However, one of the keys to attracting the All-Star Game is modernizing both the stadium and the downtown area surrounding it, according to Scott. That’s become increasingly challenging with the pandemic, but isn’t an issue solely tied to Baltimore. It’s an issue that major cities throughout the country are dealing with.
MLB is seeking bids for All-Star Games in 2023, 2024 and 2025, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.
“It’s about me first doing what I have to do to make our downtown vibrant once again as we come out of this pandemic and making sure that we have things in place to make people safe and that we’re doing all that,” Scott said. “Also from a state standpoint it’s also going to be more about advocacy, supporting the things that the [Maryland Stadium Authority] and folks are trying to do to make Camden Yards a destination.”
To start the season, the Orioles are allowing 25 percent capacity, or approximately 11,000 fans, at Camden Yards. All fans and stadium staff will be required to wear face coverings and the stadium will be cashless.
Fans can purchase tickets in socially distanced pods of two, four of six seats in an effort to keep everyone safe. However, there is no timeline for when the Orioles may allow more fans into the ballpark.
“We know that the Orioles have set out a plan for where they want to be right now and this is where they want to be,” Scott said. “They are not trying to rush back in any sense because they are true partners in understanding this pandemic. We’ll be there to support them as we go throughout the rest of the pandemic in opening it up.”
For more from Scott, listen to the full interview here:
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