Why the Phillies aren’t hosting an All-Star Game anytime soon

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Earlier, Drew Silva wrote about the Nationals hosting the 2018 All-Star Game. He cited a report by James Wagner of the Washington Post, who included this interesting tidbit at the end (emphasis mine):

Ten of the 14 new stadiums built since 2000 are in the National League. Excluding Petco Park and Marlins Park, four new stadiums have yet to host an all-star game: Tropicana Field in Tampa, Yankee Stadium in New York, Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia (the Phillies are waiting to bid for the 2026 edition to commemorate when America turns 250) and Nationals Park.

Philadelphia last played host in 1996, 19 years ago. And it sounds like it’ll be another 11 years before it will host another All-Star Game. The 30-year drought would rank as the 10th-longest drought of all-time. The All-Star Game was established in 1933. The nine longer droughts:

  • Mets: 49 years (July 7, 1964 to July 16, 2013)
  • Cardinals: 43 years (July 12, 1966 to July 14, 2009)
  • Royals: 39 years (July 24, 1973 to July 10, 2012)
  • Red Sox: 38 years (July 31, 1961 to July 13, 1999)
  • Nationals/Expos: 36 years (July 13, 1982 to July 10, 2018)
  • Orioles: 35 years (July 8, 1958 to July 13, 1993)
  • Tigers: 34 years (July 13, 1971 to July 12, 2005)
  • White Sox: 33 years (July 11, 1950 to July 6, 1983)
  • Yankees: 31 years (July 19, 1977 to July 15, 2008)

As far as active droughts go, after 2018, the following six teams would still be in more of a hosting drought than the Phillies:

  • Dodgers: last hosted on July 8, 1980
  • Athletics: July 14, 1987
  • Cubs: July 10, 1990
  • Blue Jays: July 9, 1991
  • Orioles: July 13, 1993
  • Rangers: July 11, 1995

It’s reasonable to assume that at least three or four of the six would host between 2019-25, however.

MLB crowds jump from ’21, still below pre-pandemic levels

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PHOENIX — Even with the homer heroics of sluggers like Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, Major League Baseball wasn’t able to coax fans to ballparks at pre-pandemic levels this season, though attendance did jump substantially from the COVID-19 affected campaign in 2021.

The 30 MLB teams drew nearly 64.6 million fans for the regular season that ended Wednesday, which is up from the 45.3 million who attended games in 2021, according to baseball-reference.com. This year’s numbers are still down from the 68.5 million who attended games in 2019, which was the last season that wasn’t affected by the pandemic.

The 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers led baseball with 3.86 million fans flocking to Dodger Stadium for an average of 47,672 per contest. The Oakland Athletics – who lost 102 games, play in an aging stadium and are the constant subject of relocation rumors – finished last, drawing just 787,902 fans for an average of less than 10,000 per game.

The St. Louis Cardinals finished second, drawing 3.32 million fans. They were followed by the Yankees (3.14 million), defending World Series champion Braves (3.13 million) and Padres (2.99 million).

The Toronto Blue Jays saw the biggest jump in attendance, rising from 805,901 fans to about 2.65 million. They were followed by the Cardinals, Yankees, Mariners, Dodgers, and Mets, which all drew more than a million fans more than in 2021.

The Rangers and Reds were the only teams to draw fewer fans than in 2021.

Only the Rangers started the 2021 season at full capacity and all 30 teams weren’t at 100% until July. No fans were allowed to attend regular season games in 2020.

MLB attendance had been declining slowly for years – even before the pandemic – after hitting its high mark of 79.4 million in 2007. This year’s 64.6 million fans is the fewest in a non-COVID-19 season since the sport expanded to 30 teams in 1998.

The lost attendance has been balanced in some ways by higher viewership on the sport’s MLB.TV streaming service. Viewers watched 11.5 billion minutes of content in 2022, which was a record high and up nearly 10% from 2021.