With Major League Baseball announcing on Thursday that Citi Field will be the site of the 2013 All-Star Game, Marlins Park could be moving closer to landing the Midsummer Classic as early as 2015.
The reason 2015 is the next available date for the Miami Marlins to be an All-Star host is because the 2014 game will likely be played in an American League park, before shifting back to the National League.
While there has been speculation that Minnesota will host the '14 Midsummer Classic, Commissioner Bud Selig said on Wednesday that a decision has not been made.
For the first time in their history, the Marlins have a ballpark they can call their own. Marlins Park, with its retractable roof and a capacity of 37,000, has become an attraction in South Florida. The roof guarantees all games will start on time, and players and fans don't have to endure excessive heat and unpredictable rains.
"We're definitely excited to host the All-Star Game, whenever the Commissioner deems it appropriate," Marlins president David Samson said. "We're hopeful it's going to be soon."
South Florida has never hosted the All-Star Game.
In 1995, the Florida Marlins were awarded the 2000 game, which was scheduled to be played at Sun Life Stadium, the Marlins' former home. But in 1998, during a period of franchise uncertainty when H. Wayne Huizenga was selling the team, MLB moved the All-Star Game to Turner Field in Atlanta.
"When the All-Star Game was taken away from Florida way back when, [MLB] was waiting for the new ballpark," Samson said. "We all think Marlins Park would be an amazing place to host an All-Star week."
As an organization, the Marlins continue to get acclimated to their new ballpark, which has a South Beach feel with its bright colors and two aquariums behind home plate. The building includes a Bobblehead museum, numerous pieces of baseball artwork and an elaborate 73-foot home run sculpture.
There are four parking garages surrounding the building, which are owned by the city of Miami. In those garages are spaces for retail outlets.
"The city is making significant progress in leasing out the retail spaces around the garages, and we're happy about that," Samson said. "We're just very happy with the reception the park is receiving.
"Operating a retractable-roof facility is challenging, and we knew that from the other teams that opened retractable-roof facilities. Certainly there is a learning curve in getting everything right, and it takes time. But overall, the experience, from concessions to parking to all the things that could have been issues, things have really gone very smoothly."