SEATTLE -- The Mariners formally previewed their season on Wednesday with a two-hour media session at T-Mobile Park, and the club also presented Major League Baseball the opportunity to share details about the 2023 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard that will be held in Seattle.
MLB chief operations and strategy officer Chris Marinak was on site to highlight details of what’s to come with the 93rd Midsummer Classic and the events associated, as much has changed in the 22 years since it was last held in the Pacific Northwest.
“One of the biggest changes that we've seen since the 2001 All-Star Game is really that it's become a week-long agenda,” Marinak said. “We have activities scattered really throughout the course of six to seven days, not just the weekend, not just the game on Tuesday, but a whole host of other events.”
Here’s a breakdown:
Friday, July 7 -- HBCU Swingman Classic
The inaugural event will gather baseball student-athletes from Division I programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), with the name fittingly recognizing Mariners icon Ken Griffey Jr. Powered by the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation, Swingman will highlight the history and legacy of HBCU baseball programs while also providing 50 HBCU baseball players with the opportunity to showcase their talent on a national stage. The student-athletes will be selected by a committee that will include Griffey and representatives from MLB and the MLBPA.
Saturday-Tuesday, July 8-11: Capital One PLAY BALL PARK
MLB’s version of fan fest will be held across from T-Mobile Park at Lumen Field, home of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, and the Lumen Field Event Center, a convention-sized space with ample room for all the many activities. There could be other activities on the north end of Lumen Field in the parking and courtyard space that borders the Pioneer Square neighborhood.
The brightest stars of tomorrow will take the field for the annual matchup of the game’s top prospects that are nearing the Majors. Many of today's All-Stars made their first appearances on a Major League stage at the All-Star Futures Game. Also, the fun-filled celebrity event features some of the biggest names in entertainment and pop culture.
Sunday, July 9 -- MLB Draft
As part of the Draft shifting back one month and being held in conjunction with the Midsummer Classic since 2021, the public can take part in watching in person. The first round, which will include some of the selected players on site, will be held some time in the afternoon and evening, though the venue won’t be determined for a few weeks.
Monday, July 10 -- T-Mobile Home Run Derby; All-Star workout day
The Derby has become arguably just as engrossing as the All-Star Game itself, with electric performances of prodigious power. The slugfest will be preceded by the workout and media day at the ballpark.
Tuesday, July 11 -- All-Star Game presented by Mastercard; Red carpet show
The Midsummer Classic will take place after the red carpet gathering, which will be held at Pike Place Market downtown.
“It's not just a matter of showing up to T-Mobile Park, which obviously is a great location. ... But we want to be present throughout the entire city of Seattle and really bring to life this entire metropolitan area to baseball fans,” Marinak said. “We're very excited to be here in the Pacific Northwest to bring ... the Midsummer Classic back to Seattle.”