The Washington Times - July 10, 2012, 03:41PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Washington Nationals had four players named to the 2012 National League All-Star team. Three of them are here in Kansas City for the event, joined by principal owner Ted Lerner and several members of his family, representing a team that has become one of the most intriguing in baseball this season. 

And as the Nationals’ surge onto baseball’s main stage continues the question arises: when will Washington play host to the All-Star Game? Chances are it could be as soon as 2015. 

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In his annual meeting with the Baseball Writers Association of America, Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig addressed the possible future home of the Mid-Summer Classic, though he would not divulge specifics or future destinations.

The 2013 All-Star Game will be held at Citi Field in New York. The 2014 game is expected to be at Minnesota’s Target Field. After that, the Nationals may be next in line, but the competition to host the game is stiff and there are plenty more National League parks clamoring for it and deserving of it than there are American League homes. Generally, the All-Star Game rotates each year between NL and AL parks. 

“There’s no question that I’m amazed how intense people are at wanting to get an All-Star Game,” Selig said. “We’ll just alternate back-and-forth (between the AL and the NL). That’s all we can do. I’d rather not (not alternate) since the game means so much.”

New parks that have never hosted an All-Star Game include Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park, Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park, San Diego’s PETCO Park and Miami’s Marlins Park. The Yankees’ new stadium has not hosted one, either, but the All-Star Game was hosted by the Yankees in 2008 and will be hosted by the Mets next year. 

The Marlins would likely present the stiffest competition to the Nationals’ bid to host one but there’s no mistaking Washington’s desire to bring the game to the nation’s capital. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported on Tuesday that he feels Washington is the most likely destination for the 2015 game.

When Nationals Park was opened in 2008 it was obviously with the plan that the area around the park would be built up with time and it would become more of a destination than for just ballgames. The economic recession has slowed that progress. Before MLB sends one of its premier events there, it might prefer to see more development in that area, but the game has been hosted in plenty of areas (Kansas City is a prime example) where the park is not the central location for all of the week’s events. 

“Teams are desperate for the game and I really have my hands full trying to juggle through the next few years trying to be as fair as possible,” Selig said. “Ten, 15 years ago you had to beg people to take it. You had to offer them some other kind of carrots for them to take this game.”