For the first time since World War II, Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game will not be played in 2020, due to health circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic, MLB announced on Friday. The Dodgers, who had been scheduled to host the game and surrounding events, will host the next available Midsummer Classic in 2022.
The Braves’ Truist Park remains the host of the 2021 All-Star Game.
Because of governmental directives prohibiting large gatherings, MLB determined the All-Star Game and its week of surrounding activities, which include the Home Run Derby, the interactive Play Ball Park and various concerts, events and attractions, would not be possible this year. Dodger Stadium had been set to host the game for the first time since 1980.
“Once it became clear we were unable to hold this year’s All-Star festivities, we wanted to award the Dodgers with the next available All-Star Game, which is 2022,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “I want to thank the Dodgers organization and the city of Los Angeles for being collaborative partners in the early stages of All-Star preparation and for being patient and understanding in navigating the uncertainty created by the pandemic. The 2022 All-Star celebration promises to be a memorable one with events throughout the city and at picturesque Dodger Stadium.”
With the regular season significantly delayed and shortened, MLB’s 30 teams will be in the midst of Summer Camp during the All-Star Game’s originally scheduled July 14 date. A 60-game season is expected to begin July 23-24.
“As excited as we were to host this year’s All-Star Game, we know that it will be worth the wait and that Dodger Stadium and Los Angeles will host a world-class event in 2022,” Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten said. “We'd like to thank Commissioner Rob Manfred for re-awarding All-Star Week to Los Angeles so quickly, as well as mayor Eric Garcetti and council member Gil Cedillo for their continued support of this premier sporting event, which will have lasting benefits for our community.”
Though the game and festivities have been canceled for 2020, MLB, the Dodgers and the Dodgers Foundation are honoring their $1.7 million commitment to four All-Star Legacy Projects. The projects include upgrades to the Dodgers Dreamfields at Gilbert Lindsay Recreation Center in South Los Angeles, Lincoln Park in Lincoln Heights and William Mead Homes in Chinatown, as well as the All-Star Veterans Courtyard -- an upgrade to outdoor gathering spaces for homeless veterans receiving day services and those in long-term housing at the Veterans Service Center in Skid Row.
Those projects will be unveiled when it is safe to gather in large groups.
“COVID-19 has forced us to make a lot of tough calls and sacrifices -- and while it may have disrupted our plans for this year, we can't wait to welcome baseball's best to Los Angeles for the 2022 All-Star Game," Garcetti said. "The Dodgers have always brought Angelenos together and baseball has helped America heal time and again. I look forward to welcoming fans from all over the world to our city and Dodger Stadium for this Midsummer Classic."
Since its 1933 inception, the All-Star Game had been a summer staple every year except 1945, when wartime travel restrictions forced its cancellation. During that year’s All-Star break, eight interleague exhibition games were scheduled to raise funds to support the American Red Cross and the National War Fund. No official All-Stars were selected, but The Associated Press created “mythical” All-Star rosters based on nominations from each of the managers of the 16 teams.
The 2022 All-Star Game will be the third held in Los Angeles. In addition to 1980, the Dodgers also hosted the event at Memorial Coliseum in 1959, when it was the second of two All-Star Games held that season.