Atlanta to host MLB 2025 All-Star Game after voting rights controversy
Major League Baseball (MLB) has announced that the 2025 All-Star Game will be hosted in Atlanta, marking a return to the city four years after controversially relocating the event to Denver's Coors Field due to a voting rights dispute.
The upcoming All-Star Games are set to be held across various ballparks in different cities. The 2024 edition is scheduled to take place at Arlington's Globe Life Field, followed by the 2026 game at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park, coinciding with the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
"We are thrilled that Major League Baseball has awarded the Atlanta Braves the 2025 All-Star Game," said team chairman Terry McGuirk.
"Time and time again, Atlanta has proven to be a world-class destination for the most exciting entertainment and sporting events."
This will mark the third time that Atlanta has had the honor of hosting the All-Star Game, each time at a different ballpark. The 1972 Midsummer Classic took place at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, the initial home of the Braves after their move from Milwaukee in 1966.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred emphasized the significance of the Braves organization, praising Truist Park and The Battery as exemplary facilities.
"What's most important is that the Atlanta Braves are a great organization. Truist Park and The Battery are gems in terms of the facilities," said Manfred.
"With their great fan base and rich history, Atlanta deserves an All-Star Game and we're really looking forward to being there in 2025."
Atlanta's history of hosting major sports events dates back to the 1996 Summer Olympics, after which a new stadium, Turner Field, was constructed just south of the original facility. This new venue became the Braves' home and hosted a second All-Star Game in 2000.
The Braves then relocated to suburban Truist Park in 2017. The decision to move was influenced by a deal allowing the team to build The Battery, an adjacent mixed-use development featuring hotels, apartments, restaurants and shops. This complex has since become a model for other cities aspiring to construct modern stadiums and arenas.
Voting rights controversy
Atlanta was originally awarded the 2021 All-Star Game. However, it was subsequently moved to Denver in April 2021, just three months before the scheduled event. The decision was a response to objections against changes in Georgia's voting rights laws.
The voting changes in Georgia led to legal challenges from civil rights groups, voting advocates, and the U.S. Department of Justice. Multiple lawsuits suggested Republicans were seeking to maintain control after Democratic victories in the 2020 elections, where Georgia narrowly went to Democrat Joe Biden and two Republican U.S. senators were unseated by Democrats.
They claimed that the Republican-led state legislature was trying to limit equal access to the ballot box for Black and other voters of color, breaking the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.
"I made the decision in 2021 to move the event, and I understand, believe me, that people had then and probably still have different views as to the merits of that decision," said Manfred, who announced the decision following discussions with individual players and the Players Alliance, a group of Black players formed in response to George Floyd's death in 2020.