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Bringing the All-Star Game to South Florida remains a strong possibility.
With their new stadium set to open in 2012, the Marlins have openly talked about their desire to someday host the All-Star Game. The year 2015 has been discussed as a possibility.
On Thursday, MLB President and COO Bob DuPuy noted that South Florida is on the league’s radar.
“As has been talked about repeatedly, the commissioner has been committed to rewarding communities with All-Star Games for persevering and getting new ballparks,” DuPuy said.
Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has discussed with Commissioner Bud Selig the possibility of hosting the All-Star Game. DuPuy and team president David Samson have had similar conversations.
“I know Jeffrey has talked with the commissioner. David and I have talked about it,” DuPuy said. “I’m confident that South Florida will be in the queue.”
DuPuy was at the Marlins-Cardinals game on Thursday at Roger Dean Stadium. Earlier in the day, he toured construction of the new ballpark Miami.
The Marlins are two years away from moving into their 37,000-seat retractable-roof building in the Little Havana section of Miami.
The league was instrumental in the ballpark being approved. Throughout the long process to find the Marlins their own home, MLB has stressed that South Florida could blossom into a prosperous baseball market.
The new staidum is crucial for the growth of the franchise.
“They’ve had location issues. They’ve had climate issues. They’ve had weather issues,” DuPuy said. “Even though they don’t get a lot of rainouts, I think the most important part of how the market is set up is that fans are going to know that games are going to start at 7:05, and they’re going to be over in a normal time period. Fans are not going to have to wait through an hour rain delay or an hour-and-a-half rain delay.”
The hope is that there also will be development around the ballpark, such as restaurants and shops. The long-term vision is to make the area a destination.
“I think the stadium is great for baseball. It’s great for this franchise,” DuPuy said. “It’s great for the community.”
— Joe Frisaro