Rob Manfred: Atlanta an option ‘at some point’ for future All-Star game

DENVER — MLB commissioner Rob Manfred expressed an appreciation for the Atlanta market, but didn’t say when the city will again be considered for an All-Star game during a meeting with reporters Tuesday in Denver.

The 2021 All-Star game originally was awarded to Atlanta two years ago. MLB reversed course April 2, announcing it was removing the festivities from Georgia in response to the state’s new voting law. Manfred made the decision eight days after Gov. Brian Kemp signed a sweeping elections overhaul into law, a move met with strong opposition from voting-rights activists.

Days later, MLB announced the game was relocated to Denver. During a Q&A on Tuesday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution asked Manfred if Atlanta would be considered in the coming years to host the game, and if not, what he would need to see changed for Georgia to host the midsummer classic.

“I’m not going to get into what I would need to see changed,” Manfred said. “Atlanta is an important market to us, and it will certainly be an option at some point in the future.”

Atlanta has held the All-Star Game twice, at Atlanta Stadium in 1972 and Turner Field in 2000.

Manfred also didn’t elaborate on how MLB’s decision could affect other states’ bids to host the game. One such state is Texas, which has its own proposed voting-law changes. The Rangers opened a new ballpark in Arlington last season.

“I think the decision, with respect to Atlanta, was probably the hardest thing I’ve been asked to do so far,” Manfred said. “I’m kind of hoping it’s going to be the hardest thing I’m asked to do, period. Having said that, I’m not going to speculate who’s going to pass what law and where we might take jewel events. It’s hard enough to deal with it in the concrete, real time. I just don’t think it’s productive for me.”

The All-Star Game will be played Tuesday at Coors Field. The Braves had three representatives in first baseman Freddie Freeman, second baseman Ozzie Albies and outfielder Ronald Acuna, who missed the game with an injury.