Will the Major League Baseball All-Star game return to Wrigley Field after more than three decades?
The answer lies with MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. Under Manfred’s leadership, baseball’s identity resembles that of a middle-aged dad trying whatever he can to connect with his teenage kids. While it’s certainly nice of dear old dad, it’s only fair that the next generation of baseball fans learns a thing or two about the game’s roots. And what better way than bringing the MLB All-Star Game back to one of the game’s most iconic venues?
Based on recent comments from Manfred, the Chicago Cubs’ odds of playing host to an All-Star game in the near-future looks promising.
Possible timeline for the Midsummer Classic’s return to Wrigleyville
Chicago last welcomed the MLB All-Star game in 2003. That year, the White Sox played host to the game. It’s been 33 years since the Midsummer Classic was last played at Wrigley Field.
Even Manfred acknowledged, “that’s a long time.” He said so on Tuesday before this year’s edition of the game in Seattle. When might this drought possibly end? Let’s take a look.
The Texas Rangers will play host to next year’s game at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. So, cross 2024 off the list. In 2026, the game will head to Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
The year 2025 is definitely in play for Wrigley. However, it seems unlikely. Major League Baseball is still intent on delivering the game to Atlanta, who lost it in 2021 after objections to Georgia’s sweeping changes to voting laws. Coors Field in Denver ended up playing host to the game that year.
Two years later, Atlanta is very much back in the conversation for 2025, said Manfred.
Doing the math, 2027 appears to be the most realistic date for Midsummer Classic’s return to the Friendly Confines. Who knows, maybe its DraftKings sportsbook will finally be ready to take bets by then.
Allowing the selection process to play out may actually work in favour of Wrigley. Well, at least according to Manfred’s criteria.
“As time goes by, I’ve been more focused on keeping track of when a game was last there and trying to get back to places where we haven’t been in a really long time,” he said.
Without getting too ahead of things, Cubs fans shouldn’t need to worry too much about another 108-year drought.
Making the case for a Wrigley reunion
To get the MLB’s attention, Wrigley’s sales pitch will need to focus on more than just the ballpark’s historical allure. That will, of course, work wonders for the die-hard fan, but it won’t be enough to attract Manfred. In his mind, the All-Star game is an opportunity to showcase the league, its host cities, and its players to attract new eyes.
Luckily, Wrigley is more than capable of keeping up with the times.
As the home of an Illinois sportsbook, it’s one of four major league stadiums to feature an attached wagering site.
It also boasts a wide selection of improved in-house offerings, including the brand-new NÜTRL Zone. Here, fans can take in the game from the outdoor terrace while still having access to exciting new concession options, including:
- Loaded Greek fries
- A burger brat
- Crispy chicken bao buns
- Quesabirria with barbacoa
- Crispy chicken torta
It’s almost blasphemous to talk about Chicago and not bring up the food scene. The city is heralded for its mix of fine dining and elevated comfort food, and PlayIllinois knows just the spots to hit.
Baseball history, check.
Clear commitment to the future, check.
Nationally renowned food scene, check.
Very few franchises across the MLB can offer a portfolio as well rounded as Cubs.
Your move, Major League Baseball.