By Steve Mosco
The New York Mets aside, Citi Field is finally guaranteed to host a team of all-stars next year.
Major League Baseball awarded the 2013 All-Star Game to the Flushing stadium in an announcement at City Hall May 16 with MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Mets CEO Fred Wilpon and Mr. Met in attendance.
The 45,000-capacity ballpark will host the 84th Midsummer Classic next season, tentatively set for Tuesday, July 16.
“Next year’s All-Star Game is going to demonstrate once again that there’s no place like New York for world-class sporting events,” said Bloomberg, adding that the game will create a $191 million economic increase boost for the city. “Major League Baseball clearly recognizes this since they’re bringing the All-Star Game back to New York for the second time in just five years.”
It will be the ninth All-Star Game in baseball history to be played in New York, the most of any host city. Old Yankee Stadium hosted the last All-Star Game in the city in 2008, while this will be the first hosted by the Mets since Shea Stadium’s opening season in 1964.
The National League won that game, defeating the American League 7-4. The game featured 21 Hall of Famers, including Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Sandy Koufax and Willie Mays.
Commissioner Bud Selig said he was proud to award the game to the Mets during this, their golden anniversary season.
“We are delighted to bring the Midsummer Classic to Citi Field, a wonderful ballpark that has carried on the remarkable National League tradition in New York City,” he said. “The Mets will be superb hosts to next summer’s greatest sporting event. The whole New York area, I think, will be very pleased.”
The All-Star festivities will include more than just the game, as it encompasses five days of events including a home-run derby, a celebrity softball competition and a host of entertainment opportunities.
“Thanks to the efforts of Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Selig, it’s a great honor for everyone at the Mets to host the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field,” Wilpon said. “Mets fans and all people in the New York tri-state area and beyond will have the opportunity to take part in the events that Major League Baseball will bring to New York.”
Reach reporter Steve Mosco by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4546.