- The Washington Times - Friday, April 10, 2009

PHOENIX (AP) - The Arizona Diamondbacks and Chase Field have been chosen to host the 2011 All-Star game.

The formal announcement will be made Saturday at a news conference by commissioner Bud Selig.

“I’m excited. It’s a long time coming,” Arizona Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said Friday before his team played the Los Angeles Dodgers. “With the NBA All-Star game, which was well-received here, I know our building can be shown off for the first time in that type of scenario. I’m sure the fans of Phoenix are excited about it and it will be well-received here.”

A number dignitaries scheduled to attend the news conference, including Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and Diamondbacks managing general partner Ken Kendrick.

The Diamondbacks, who began play in 1998, never have hosted an All-Star game at what used to be known as Bank One Ballpark before Banc One was acquired by by JP Morgan Chase.

The searing, triple-digit heat of July and the lack of downtown hotel space had been considered obstacles.

But the construction of a major hotel and the expansion of the convention center, across the street from Chase Field have ensured the game and its surrounding events could be held in air-conditioned comfort. The ballpark has a retractable roof that is closed during the summer months and a swimming pool behind the fence in right-center field.

This year’s game is in St. Louis and 2010 will be hosted by the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim.

Kansas City was thought to be the front-runner for 2012, but the Boston Red Sox are pressing to host that year for the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park. The New York Mets and Citi Field are the likely host in 2013.

Phoenix was host to the NBA All-Star game this year. The Super Bowl was held in nearby Glendale in 2008.

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