Game centers

Camden Yards stripped of All Star Game for no good reason

On Thursday afternoon, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas will host the 2024 MLB All-Star Game, once again passing over Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The stadium that revolutionized stadium design is in play to host the 2025 Midsummer Classic, but will face fierce competition Wrigley Field in Chicago and Truist Park in Atlanta. If history is any indicator, Camden Yards will likely be ignored again for reasons that have nothing to do with the ballpark or Baltimore’s reputation as a host city for special events and a lot to do with a small vendetta over regional broadcast fees.

It’s been 29 years since Oriole Park in Camden Yards hosted the MLB All Star Game. Unfortunately, the wait can take a while.

For the past decade, the Orioles and Washington Nationals have been embroiled in disputes over revenue sharing from MASN, the regional broadcast network majority-owned by the Orioles. I won’t bore you with the legalese, but basically the Nationals want more money and the Orioles react by putting their hands over their mouths and blowing a raspberry (and claiming that the Nats are already getting fair market value ). Manfred has commented on this situation in the past, advocating for a resolution on the issue while making comments that could be construed as pro-national regarding income distribution.

The Orioles pursuing the matter rather than settling seems to be a source of frustration, but there is very little in the league’s jurisdiction that can be done to influence the situation. What options does Manfred have? Well, denying the club the right to host the All Star Game and denying it the revenue that comes with it is one.

At this point, there are few logical reasons why Camden Yards hasn’t hosted an MLB All-Star Game in three decades. Despite its age, the park remains one of baseball’s magnificent crown jewels with picturesque 360-degree views. It is a downtown stadium accessible by car, on foot or by light rail. Fells Point and Federal Hill are a short Uber ride or a long walk. There is no shortage of hotel rooms and the Palais des Congrès just opposite is perfectly equipped to accommodate media partners and sponsor activations. Baltimore is tailor-made to host events like this.

Yes it is hosted before but so are other ballparks. Cleveland’s Progressive Field has hosted two MLB All-Star Games since Camden Yards last did (1997, 2019). T-Mobile Park in Seattle was selected as the 2023 host after hosting the Chan Ho Park game in 2001. Denver’s Coors Field got it twice. The 2024 game will be Arlington’s second in 29 years.

But as long as the MASN lawsuit drags on, new baseball diamonds are built, old ones are renovated, and Manfred remains dedicated to petty settling of scores, it’s highly unlikely Orioles fans will be able to watch the best of the league take the field for an All Star Game at Camden Yards or watch the sluggers take turns trying to replicate Ken Griffey Jr.’s warehouse scoring explosion in 1993 in the Home Run Derby. All because a group of billionaires can’t agree on how to divide their exorbitant sums of money and because the guy hired to serve the best interests of said billionaires seems determined to hold a grudge against him.