Marlins set sights on hosting 2015 ASG
Organization has long wanted Classic to be played in new park
MIAMI -- Securing an All-Star Game for the Marlins' new ballpark has always been an objective for the organization and for Major League Baseball.
A year ago, when the Marlins were pushing city and county officials for the necessary votes to complete the stadium project, they publicly talked about the facility someday landing the Midsummer Classic.
For about a year, it's been noted that the soonest target date would be 2015. The retractable-roof ballpark is set to open in 2012 in the Little Havana section of Miami.
The 2015 date has once again come to the forefront. Marlins president David Samson noted last Saturday during FanFest that the organization is hoping to secure the All-Star Game for that year.
"If you thought we would host the All-Star Game in 2015, you would probably not be misleading yourself," Samson told the crowd. "We're pretty confident that will be the year."
Samson confirmed to MLB.com on Tuesday that there have been discussions with MLB about South Florida hosting the game in 2015, but that decision won't be made for a while.
Construction on the park began last July, and the project is about 22 percent completed.
Throughout the ballpark negotiations with city of Miami and Miami-Dade County leaders, MLB representatives made it clear that bringing future All-Star Games and World Baseball Classic events to South Florida was an objective.
The Marlins also are hoping to host the finals of the 2013 World Baseball Classic. In 2009, South Florida was the site of second-round games.
Since their inaugural season, in 1993, the Marlins have shared their home with the NFL's Dolphins. The stadium, which was recently renamed Sun Life Stadium, will be the Marlins' home for two more seasons. The University of Miami football team also plays at Sun Life Stadium.
South Florida has never hosted an All-Star Game. In 1995, MLB awarded the 2000 Midsummer Classic to the Marlins, but in November 1998 the game was re-assigned to Atlanta.
At the time, former National League president Len Coleman noted that the league wanted to award the All-Star Game to new ballparks.
The Angels will host the 2010 All-Star Game, and the Arizona Diamondbacks are lined up for 2011. The Royals are slated for 2012, with the Mets hosting the Midsummer Classic in 2013.
The Twins, who are moving into Target Field this season, hope to land the 2014 game. Although that year lines up for an American League host, the Cubs would like to be awarded that game to mark the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field.
"We lost the game before we had a ballpark. Now that there is a ballpark, it is certainly our expectation that the All-Star Game will be returned to Miami," Samson told the Associated Press on Monday. "We look forward to that happening, and are very hopeful that it will be 2015."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.