Good morning. This is LEADOFF, today’s early look inside Atlanta sports.
Atlanta’s winning streak in landing marquee sports events will be interrupted today when Major League Baseball is expected to award the 2020 All-Star game to Los Angeles and Dodger Stadium.
The Braves had sought to bring the mid-summer event to SunTrust Park as early as 2020. The Braves’ bid also included the 2021 game, which is still pending.
But it has been clear for several months that the Dodgers, who inexplicably haven’t hosted an All-Star game since 1980, had taken the lead for the 2020 game.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred plans to formally award the event during a news conference at Dodger Stadium today, according to multiple reports.
MLB hasn’t said when it will award the 2021 game. Other bidders likely include the Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field, which hasn’t hosted the event since 1990.
The Braves last hosted the All-Star game in 2000 at Turner Field. That’s not a long wait for the event to return, although new stadiums often accelerate the timeline.
The All-Star game also was played here in 1972 at Atlanta Stadium (later called Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium).
Atlanta has been on a roll lately in landing marquee sports events. College football’s national championship game was played earlier this year at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which will host the Super Bowl next February and college basketball’s Final Four in April 2020. The MLS All-Star game will be played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Aug. 1. All four of those events were awarded to MBS in the first year the stadium sought them.
Major League Baseball also is considering bids for the 2022 All-Star game. At least initially, the Braves’ bid didn’t include that year’s game.
This season’s game will be played at Nationals Park in Washington and next season’s game in Cleveland.
MLB in recent years has gotten away from its traditional practice of alternating between National League and American League sites. This summer’s game in Washington will be the fourth in a row at an NL stadium.
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> A FIFA committee will be in Atlanta today for an evaluation of the city and Mercedes-Benz Stadium as a possible host site for a 2026 World Cup semifinal. A united bid from the United States, Mexico and Canada is competing against a bid from Morocco for the 2026 World Cup. The North American bid book proposes that the final would be played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., and the semifinals at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and Mercedes-Benz Stadium. See Doug Roberson’s report here.
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