The 2021 Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be held at Coors Field in Denver after moving it from Truist Park in Atlanta, the league announced Tuesday.
Bob Nightengale @BNightengale
MLB says Coors Field was chosen since the #Rockies had already been in the bidding process to host a future All-Star Game, supplying "a detailed plan for hotel, event space and security that took months to assemble, and MLB had already made several site visits to Denver.''
It marks the second time the Colorado Rockies will play the role of host, first staging the showcase in 1998.
Commissioner Rob Manfred first announced April 2 that MLB was taking the All-Star Game and 2021 amateur draft out of Georgia in response to the state's new voting law.
"Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box," Manfred said.
The Atlanta Braves responded by saying they were "deeply disappointed by the decision" and "saddened that fans will not be able to see this event in our city."
Across the country, multiple states are weighing legislation following the 2020 presidential election. The Washington Post described the efforts as "potentially amounting to the most sweeping contraction of ballot access in the United States since the end of Reconstruction, when Southern states curtailed the voting rights of formerly enslaved Black men."
Among other things the Georgia law does is placing limitations on the number of drop boxes for absentee ballots and for how long the boxes can remain open, per CNN's Daniel Dale and Dianne Gallagher. The state elections board can also suspend county elections officials.
"This provision is a concern to officials and activists in large Democratic-run counties like Atlanta's Fulton County, whose elections administration has been attacked by [former President Donald] Trump and other Republicans," the report said.
Most controversially, the law criminalizes the act of providing food or drinks to anybody who's waiting in line to vote.
MLB drew criticism, largely from conservatives, over the decision to move the All-Star Game, with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp comparing it to "cancel culture." Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also said he was turning down the opportunity to throw out the first pitch for the Texas Rangers' home opener at Globe Life Field.
Manfred and MLB officials were bound to find an expedient solution given they were working against a ticking clock. This year's Midsummer Classic was originally scheduled for July 13, with the draft to run July 11-13.
The All-Star-Game is one of MLB's biggest annual events, so it was important to get the logistics for a new site lined up as early as possible.