Major League Baseball officially canceled the 2020 All-Star Game on Friday and announced that the 2022 game would be played at Dodger Stadium.
The Los Angeles Dodgers had been set to host this year's All-Star Game on July 14 before the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the start of the 2020 MLB season, which is now set to begin July 23 or 24.
"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," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "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."
The 2021 All-Star Game will be played in Atlanta.
Dodger Stadium renovations that came with an estimated cost of $100 million had long been completed by the time players went through their first official workouts on Friday. New ramps and elevators had been installed so that the ballpark flowed more easily. A new sound system had been set up, the center-field plaza had been constructed and bar seating just beyond the outfield fence was in place.
Out in right field, among the signs towering over the bleachers, was the official logo for the All-Star Game.The sign arrived right around the time when it started to become obvious that the coronavirus pandemic would keep fans away from games this summer and prevent the Dodgers from hosting this year's All-Star Game.
Luckily, though, it wasn't decorated with a date.
"Just put the sign up," Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten told his employees when he first saw the logo about a month ago. "We're gonna have a game. It's gonna be here soon."
"Soon" is now 24 months, but Kasten on Friday said he was "very pleased" with the decision and that Manfred "stepped up" by awarding them the 2022 game as soon as possible.
"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," Kasten said in a statement.
MLB and the Dodgers will still honor their prior $1.7 million commitment to four projects benefiting communities of South L.A., Skid Row, Lincoln Heights and Chinatown. The 2022 All-Star Game will mark the first time the event has come to Dodger Stadium since 1980.
"I'm pleased to have the distinction of being the first team president to be awarded the game twice in two years," Kasten said, tongue in cheek. "That's pretty cool."
This will be the first time since 1945 that no game will be held. Travel restrictions because of World War II kept the game scheduled for Boston's Fenway Park and any player selections from taking place that year. It was pushed back to the next season.
ESPN's Alden Gonzalez and The Associated Press contributed to this report
MLB cancels 2020 All-Star Game; Dodgers will now host in 2022
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