- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Mayor Muriel Bowser promised Wednesday that D.C. will be ready to host the 89th MLB All-Star Game next July 18.

“We know that to make great events happen, we need the support of the city,” the mayor said. “We have committed to support this game in our town. … You should all know, the fans should all know, we know how to do big events. I don’t have to tell you, we host all the special, national security events in the nation. We most recently welcomed the Pope, had a million women, you name it.”

The mayor’s comments came on a day where MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and Nationals principal owner Marla Lerner Tanenbaum were on-hand at Nationals Park to unveil the logo for the 2018 All-Star Game — the first in Washington since 1969.

The Nationals home park will also host the Futures Game and the Home Run Derby.

Bringing MLB’s midseason showcase event to the District has been an objective of the Lerner family since the Nationals arrived in D.C. in 2005. In the years since, the team has built a new stadium, made the postseason and developed a devoted fanbase. 

Ms. Tanenbaum said Washington “would be the ultimate host city.”

“We are really looking, as we always do here, rather than do a number of little things, we want to go deep with a number of projects,” she said.

Mrs. Bowser said she sent a team to Miami, which hosted the 2017 All-Star Game, to take notes, and she promised the District’s plan for All-Star week will be comparably packed with events highlighting the city.

The mayor sounded optimistic about working with Metro, which shuts down at 11:30 p.m. during the week unless arrangements are made, to accommodate post-game crowds. In Miami, the game went past 11 p.m. on a Tuesday night.

“I’m not sure what the team is going to need, but we certainly look to hear what is needed so transportation issues can be accommodated,” Mrs. Bowser said. “I know that question especially comes up when we go into the late night. The MLB team, Metro and us will make sure it’s taken care of.”

Ryan Zimmerman, one of five Nationals to make the 2017 All-Star roster, said he hoped to make his third All-Star appearance next year in the city where he’s played since 2005 — his entire MLB career.

“There’s no better stage for D.C. to show this new stadium we have here, the area surrounding it and this awesome fan base that has grown with us,” he said. 

Nationals star Bryce Harper reiterated his intentions to participate in the Home-Run Derby, “if he gets invited.”

“It’s something that after in 2015 when (Todd) Frazier did it in Cincinnati and we were all sitting there and fans were going crazy,” he said. “He was doing everything possible to win that for his town and his city. To be able to come to D.C. and play here for seven, eight months throughout the year, this is my home. … I’m definitely thrilled to be part of this.”

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