Diamondbacks Awarded 2011 All Star Game

Alan Rubenstein@@uarubyAnalyst IIIApril 11, 2009

The midsummer classic will be coming to the Valley of the Sun for the first time in 2011.  With Bud Selig in attendance, Diamondbacks play by play man Daron Sutton made the announcement aired on the MLB network Saturday.

The Diamondbacks have been attempting to host the All Star game since being granted a Major League franchise in 1995.  The D-Backs began Major League competition in 1998 and Chase Field has been their home ever since.  It was the first retractable dome stadium with natural grass.

Chase Field has hosted major sporting events in the past.  The Diamondbacks won the 2001 World Series and the Insight Bowl called Chase Field home from 2000-2005. The NBA's Phoenix Suns hosted the All Star game in 1995 and this past February.

The recent expansion of the adjoining Phoenix Convention Center and a light rail system that stops right outside the ballpark made Phoenix a more attractive destination to Major League Baseball.

The additional convention space is important to hosting the fan fest.  A futures game featuring the minor league's top prospects, a home run derby and celebrity softball game are among the other activities surrounding the game. 

This year's game will be in St. Louis, while the 2010 All Star game will take place in Anaheim.  The has generally been a way for Major League Baseball to show off their many new stadiums.  The exceptions to that have been Fenway Park in 1999 and Yankee Stadium during its final year last season.

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In an attempt to make the game more meaningful, the league that wins the All Star Game now receives home field during the World Series.  The National League has not won since 1996. This rule was instituted after a widely unpopular tie game in Milwaukee in 2002 and took effect in 2003.

The awarding of the All Star game will be a great way for the city of Phoenix to show off.  The Midsummer classic helps a city financially in numerous ways.  Most season tickets sales go up.  Fans want seats to get better access to tickets and many fans from other cities travel to attend the game.