Washington, D.C., has been awarded the 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. While the game will mark the fifth time the Midsummer Classic will come to Washington, it will mark the first event at Nationals Park, which opened in 2008. Nationals Park will join Griffith Stadium (1937, 1956) and RFK Stadium (1962, 1969) as venues to host the game in the nation’s capital.
“I am pleased that the Nationals will have the opportunity to host the Midsummer Classic for the first time since Major League Baseball returned to our nation’s capital in 2005,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “The best sporting event of the summer, which will be held one decade after the opening of Nationals Park, will add a new chapter to the long and distinguished baseball tradition in Washington, D.C.”
Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser said, “We are the sports capital with a rich heritage and great pride in our amateur and professional sports. D.C. is not just a political town that hosts presidential inaugurations and heads of state; we are a great sports town, too. I am proud of the work of the Washington Nationals organization both on and off the field.”
The Nationals will follow this year’s Midsummer Classic hosts, the Cincinnati Reds; the 2016 hosts, the San Diego Padres; and the 2017 hosts, the Miami Marlins. All four All-Star Game ballparks from 2015–2018 will welcome the event for the first time, and it will mark four consecutive times the game will be played in a National League ballpark. The league had received several bids for the 2018 event but determined the winner based on the content of the bids regardless of league affiliation, a switch in protocol from past awards when the event traditionally rotated.
With four consecutive National League hosts, MLB has decided that sides will continue to alternate which league is considered the home team. Thus, as will be the case in San Diego in 2016, the American League All-Stars will be considered the home team for the 2018 All-Star Game in Washington. Since 2010, the designated hitter has been in effect for both sides, regardless of venue.