MLB yanked the showcase game from Truist Park in 2021 in protest of Georgia’s new election law, under pressure from players and politicians. President Joe Biden even endorsed a boycott of the game. It led to backlash from former President Donald Trump, who quickly called on his supporters to “boycott baseball.” And it triggered criticism from Gov. Brian Kemp and other Republican supporters of the legislation who said fearmongering from critics of the law deprived metro Atlanta of a premier event. The law includes a new ID requirement for mail-in votes, curbs the use of ballot drop boxes and gives the Republican-controlled Legislature more power over local elections.
On awarding Atlanta the 2025 All-Star game, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement: “I commend Terry McGuirk, Derek Schiller, the entire Braves organization and the Atlanta Sports Council for leading this effort. As a model of success on and off the field, the Braves deserve to host the All-Star Game. Truist Park and The Battery Atlanta will provide fans a world-class experience in 2025. We look forward to working with the Braves and local leaders to deliver a memorable All-Star Week that brings people together and benefits the community in many ways.”
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said the city welcomes the return of the game.
“More than a year away from the first pitch of the game, we already know the winner of the 2025 MLB All-Star Game — Atlanta,” Dickens said in a statement provided to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We are honored to welcome Major League Baseball to metro Atlanta. From local businesses to hotels to restaurant servers, the economic impact will benefit countless Atlantans. Add this to FIFA, the College Football Playoff National Championship, the U.S. Soccer Training Center — there is no doubt Atlanta is now the sports capital of the nation.”
“We are thrilled that Major League Baseball has awarded the Atlanta Braves the 2025 All-Star Game,” McGuirk, the Braves chairman, said in a statement: “Time and time again, Atlanta has proven to be a world-class destination for the most exciting entertainment and sporting events. I am excited that baseball fans will have the opportunity to experience Truist Park and The Battery Atlanta along with all this area has to offer. Over the coming months, we look forward to working alongside MLB to create memorable experiences that will showcase and support our community.”
Georgia lawmakers haven’t overhauled the 2021 law, and some Democrats have acknowledged it hasn’t triggered the dire consequences on election turnout that many of its most outspoken critics feared.
“Georgia’s voting laws haven’t changed, but it’s good to see (MLB’s) misguided understanding of them has,” Kemp said in a post on X, which formerly was Twitter. “We look forward to welcoming the All-Star Game to Georgia. Go Braves!”
Gerald Griggs, President of Atlanta NAACP and Georgia NAACP issued a statement via social media.
“As the oldest civil rights organization in Georgia, we are disheartening to see the return of major league baseball All-Star game given that we are still in the sweltering heat of voter suppression,” Griggs wrote. “We hope that major league baseball takes seriously the efforts to disenfranchise people of color in this state through the use of #SB202 ‘the Voter Suppression Bill.’ Voter suppression is alive and well in Georgia and Georgia should not benefit from voter suppression either politically or financially.”
The aforementioned elections law includes a new ID requirement for mail-in votes, curbs the use of ballot drop boxes and gives the Republican-controlled Legislature more power over local elections.
Many state Democrats also assailed the shift and urged the league to reconsider. State Rep. Teri Anulewicz, a Smyrna Democrat whose district includes the stadium, said Thursday she was thrilled by MLB’s decision.
“It was a blow when the game was moved out of Atlanta in 2021, and I am delighted that Cobb County, the home of the Braves, will have this opportunity to show the rest of the world how dynamic and welcoming we are,” she said.
In 2019, MLB announced that the Phillies would host the 2026 All-Star game at Citizens Bank Park to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Last November, MLB awarded the 2024 All-Star game to the Rangers, who will put on the event at Globe Life Field.
That left 2025 as an opening for other clubs and cities that sought to hold the Midsummer Classic.
During his annual Q&A with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America during All-Star week in July, the AJC asked Manfred about when Atlanta could next host the event, be it 2025 or later.
“Atlanta is in the mix of clubs for the ‘25 All-Star game,” Manfred said. “I’m not prepared to go past that right now.”
In 2023, the Braves had eight All-Star selections – a franchise record and one off the MLB record for a single team. The team, which led MLB with 104 wins before a first-round exit in the postseason, seems set up for future success, which means there could be a big group of Braves playing in the All-Star game on their home ballpark in 2025.
Overall, the Braves have had 274 All-Stars in franchise history. Three different Braves managers have helmed the NL squad: Billy Southworth (1949), Hall of Famer Bobby Cox (1992, 1993, 1996, 1997 and 2000) and Brian Snitker in 2022. Two Braves have won MVP for the Midsummer Classic: Fred McGriff in 1994, and Brian McCann in 2010.
In 2000, when Atlanta hosted the All-Star game at Turner Field, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter won MVP for going 3-for-3 as the AL won, 6-3. In 1972, the late, great Hank Aaron hit a two-run homer to fuel the NL’s 4-3 victory at Atlanta Stadium. (Aaron’s 25 All-Star selections are the most in MLB history.)
The 2025 All-Star game will be MLB’s 95th Midsummer Classic. This is the fifth time in Braves franchise history – which includes all cities in which the team has played – that the club has hosted the All-Star game. The franchise put on the event in Boston in 1936 and in Milwaukee in 1955 before moving to Atlanta ahead of the 1966 season.
-Staff writer Greg Bluestein contributed to this report.
Atlanta has hosted an All-Star game twice. In 2000, when Atlanta hosted the All-Star game at Turner Field, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter won MVP for going 3-for-3 as the AL won, 6-3. In 1972, the late, great Hank Aaron hit a two-run homer to fuel the NL’s 4-3 victory at Atlanta Stadium.