MLB All-Star Game will move to Denver

A scuplture entitled "The Player" by George Lundeen stands outside the main entracne to Coors Field, home of Major League Baseball's Colorado Rockies.

Coors Field in Denver -- home of Major League Baseball's Colorado Rockies -- will be the new host of this year's All-Star Game.

"Major League Baseball is grateful to the Rockies, the City of Denver and the State of Colorado for their support of this summer's All-Star Game," MLB Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. said in a statement.

"We appreciate their flexibility and enthusiasm to deliver a first-class event for our game and the region. We look forward to celebrating our sport's best players and entertaining fans around the world."

The statement said the Rockies were already in the bidding process to host a future All-Star Game, and had supplied a detailed plan for hotel, event space and security. Additionally, MLB staff already made visits to Denver.

MLB also noted the commitment of Gov. Jared Polis and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock to provide the necessary facilities and services.

"We are confident that our organization along with the city, state, VISIT DENVER and the Denver Sports Commission are capable of putting on this premier event in a relatively quick time frame because of the preparations that had already been done," Rockies Chief Operating Officer Greg Feasel said in the statement.

"Summer in Colorado is something everyone in the country should experience, and we embrace this opportunity to show off our beautiful ballpark and everything our city, state and region have to offer."

It will be the second All-Star Game in Denver since the 1998 Midsummer Classic at Coors Field.

Political leaders in the state had expressed enthusiasm about potentially hosting the game before MLB officially confirmed the change.

"We are excited about the possibility of hosting the All-Star Game and are awaiting MLB's decision," Hancock said.

Polis echoed the mayor's excitement.

"Like so many Coloradans, I'm excited and hopeful that Major League Baseball makes the best decision and formally chooses to play the 2021 All-Star game in Denver," he said in a statement. "It would be good for baseball and good for Colorado."

The game was initially supposed to take place in Atlanta, but the league decided to move the game and draft in response to Georgia's recently passed laws that placed new restrictions on voting.

The legislation, which was signed last week by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, imposes voter identification requirements for absentee ballots, empowers state officials to take over local elections boards, limits the use of ballot drop boxes and makes it a crime to approach voters to give them food and water as they wait in line.

Critics of the law have called for boycotts of Georgia-based companies. Chief executives and other high-ranking leaders from more than 100 companies, including Target, Snapchat and Uber, issued a public statement last week opposing any measures that deny eligible voters the right to cast ballots.

There's also been a response within the MLB -- during their opening day on Saturday, the Atlanta Braves covered the All-Star patch on their jersey's.

Shortly after MLB announced the game's relocation, the Braves released a statement saying they were disappointed by the league's decision.

"Unfortunately, businesses, employees, and fans in Georgia are victims of this decision," the statement read.

The game being taken out of Atlanta is expected to have a $100 million impact on the state, according to a statement from Holly Quinlan, president and CEO of Cobb Travel and Tourism.

Despite backlash surrounding the law, members of the Republican party have stood their ground.

"Major League Baseball caved to fear, political opportunism, and liberal lies," Kemp said Friday. "Georgians - and all Americans - should fully understand what the MLB's knee-jerk decision means: cancel culture and woke political activists are coming for every aspect of your life, sports included. If the left doesn't agree with you, facts and the truth do not matter."

In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott declined to throw the ceremonial first pitch at the Rangers' season opener against the Toronto Blue Jays because of the MLB's stance on the voter laws. Abbott said the league was adopting "a false narrative" about the voter laws in Georgia.

CNN's Ray Sanchez, Steve Almasy and David Close contributed to this report.

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