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San Diego's Petco Park Will Host 2016 All-Star Game

A view of Petco Park in San Diego's East Village, June 1, 2014.
Michael Schuerman
A view of Petco Park in San Diego's East Village, June 1, 2014.

The 2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be held at Petco Park in San Diego, the Padres announced Thursday.

The Padres lobbied hard for the annual July extravaganza of America's pastime, and the city of San Diego got involved by approving a series of permit fee waivers valued at around $1.5 million.

"I am very pleased to award the 2016 All-Star Game to the San Diego Padres, who made a detailed and comprehensive bid in conjunction with city officials," baseball Commissioner Allan "Bud" Selig said at the end of a quarterly meeting of team owners in Arizona.

"San Diego is one of America's most beautiful cities, and showcasing Petco Park in its thriving downtown will be a remarkable opportunity for the Padres franchise and all of Major League Baseball," Selig said.

The Padres overcame both tradition and competition to land the 87th All- Star Game.

Normally, the contest is alternated between American and National League venues, and with this year's edition set for Cincinnati, 2016 would have been the junior circuit's turn. Also, an American League team, the Baltimore Orioles, made a push to hold the 2016 game because it comes on the 25th anniversary of their stadium — the well-regarded Camden Yards.

However, baseball officials said that since several National League franchises that haven't hosted the game in their new stadiums bid on the 2016 edition, they decided to place the game in the city with the strongest overall pitch, regardless of league affiliation.

The Padres haven't hosted the event since 1992, when the team played at what was then known as Jack Murphy Stadium. They also played host in 1978.

The Padres have played 11 seasons at Petco Park, and MLB often likes to place the All-Star Game in newer facilities.

"Padres fans have been patiently awaiting the return of this jewel event to America's Finest City for more than two decades, and bringing the All- Star Game to San Diego has been a top priority for our ownership group," said Ron Fowler, the team's executive chairman.

"We would like to thank Mayor Kevin Faulconer, the San Diego City Council and all those who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make this a possibility, as well as Commissioner Selig and Commissioner-elect (Rob) Manfred, for making it a reality," Fowler said. "We look forward to working with Major League Baseball to produce an event worthy of the All-Star title."

A city of San Diego staff report presented last month to the City Council suggested area residents would benefit from the game's "unique experiences" and international attention. The city anticipates the event will generate $1.2 million in hotel room tax revenue and $1 million in sales taxes.

The San Diego Tourism Authority estimates the game's economic impact on the city could hit $80 million.

Joe Terzi, the head of the authority, told the council that his agency's annual advertising budget couldn't achieve the reach the exposure the game will bring to San Diego.

"San Diego is a city full of unlimited opportunities and this news is proof that great things are on the horizon," said Faulconer, who made opportunity the theme of his "State of the City" address Wednesday night.

Faulconer told KPBS on Thursday that the game is a "win-win situation" despite the $1.5 million in permit fee waivers.

"It's a great opportunity for us to be literally on the world stage in one of the premiere sporting events," Faulconer said. "It's a great deal — a net economic plus. It's how we help pave more streets and hire more police officers."

Events surrounding the All-Star Game will begin Sunday, July 10, with a celebrity softball game and the annual Futures Game, which showcases rising minor league talent. The All-Star workout day and Home Run Derby will take place July 11.

According to the Padres, tickets will be sold in strips to all of the events. Ticket distribution will be handled by Major League Baseball, so even though season ticket holders will be given first priority, there is no guarantee that there will be enough to meet demand, the Padres said.

Detailed ticket information will be released at a later date.

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