DENVER — Baseball's best players will return to Denver this summer.
According to sources and multiple reports, Coors Field will host the 2021 Major League All-Star Game at Coors Field. It also means the Home Run Derby will be held at altitude, leaving windshields and low-flying planes on notice.
"It’ll be the most exciting part of the All Star game as it usually is," former Rockies great and 1998 game participant Dante Bichette told Denver7 on Monday night. "But the way they do it now with the time limit, you might see some hitters with oxygen tanks at Coors."
An official announcement is expected Tuesday. Major League Baseball moved quickly after opting to take the game out of Atlanta due to voting laws passed in Georgia last month. Denver, Milwaukee, Kansas City and Chicago were considered the top contenders.
Several factors go into hosting the game, and Governor Jared Polis and Mayor Michael Hancock were pushing hard to land it.
In a statement Polis said, “Like so many Coloradans, I’m excited and hopeful that Major League Baseball makes the best decision and formally chooses to play the 2021 All-Star game in Denver. It would be good for baseball and good for Colorado.”
Hancock released a statement saying he's "excited and hopeful" about the possibility of the All-Star Game coming to the Mile High City, and he looks forward to the MLB's official announcement.
MLB officials discussed options with state and city governments from several cities, and hotel space, among other factors, played a role, according to sources.
Per reports, the Cobb County Travel and Tourism Bureau estimated the losses from MLB's decision to move the game out of Atlanta would exceed $100 million.
The Rockies last held the Midsummer Classic in 1998 when the air was thin, there was no humidor storing baseballs then, Beanie Babies were all the rage and the American League skunked the National League 13-8. Roberto Alomar won MVP honors. Larry Walker started for the NL with Vinny Castilla and Bichette as reserves. Ken Griffey Jr. won the Home Run Derby, besting Jim Thome and Castilla.
The All-Star game was slated for Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves. However, last Friday, MLB announced it was relocating the game, citing a new Georgia law that left civil rights groups upset that it would restrict voting access for people of color.
Commissioner Rod Manfred issued a statement last week.
“Over the last week, we have engaged in thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance, among others, to listen to their views. I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft.
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box. In 2020, MLB became the first professional sports league to join the non-partisan Civic Alliance to help build a future in which everyone participates in shaping the United States. We proudly used our platform to encourage baseball fans and communities throughout our country to perform their civic duty and actively participate in the voting process. Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support.
“We will continue with our plans to celebrate the memory of Hank Aaron during this season’s All-Star festivities. In addition, MLB’s planned investments to support local communities in Atlanta as part of our All-Star Legacy Projects will move forward. We are finalizing a new host city and details about these events will be announced shortly.”