If Arte Moreno has his way, the 2008 All-Star game will be played at Angel Stadium. The Angel owner has lobbied Commissioner Bud Selig to award the game to Anaheim for the first time since 1989.
“He has been very aggressive and serious in his pitch,” Selig said.
The All-Star game is scheduled for Pittsburgh in 2006 and San Francisco in 2007. After that, Selig said, he would like to return to the tradition of alternating American League and National League stadiums. He said he hopes to select the 2008 city by the end of this year.
Since the game was last played in Anaheim, the Angels have renovated the stadium, Disneyland has added a second theme park and the city has expanded its convention center, which would be used for the fan festival that now accompanies the All-Star game.
And, as Moreno reminded Selig, the Angels and Dodgers will sell a combined 7 million tickets for the second consecutive season.
“I told him, ‘There’s baseball out here,’ ” Moreno said.
The Dodgers last played host to the All-Star game in 1980, and owner Frank McCourt has lobbied for another game at Dodger Stadium. The St. Louis Cardinals are the leading candidates for 2009, with the Arizona Diamondbacks also in the running. The New York Yankees could play host in 2008, as a farewell to the current Yankee Stadium, or 2010, in the new Yankee Stadium.
In selecting cities for 2008 and beyond, Selig said, he would consider the long absence of the All-Star game from the game’s best-selling two-team market -- and the second-largest market in the country.
“That’s one of the considerations, absolutely,” Selig said. “I have a lot of factors I’ll look at, but that certainly is one of them.”
The Angels will play their home opener next season against the Yankees.
The Angels open the 2006 season at Seattle on April 3. After three games against the Mariners, the Angels return to Anaheim for three games against the Yankees (April 7-9) and three against the Texas Rangers (April 10-12).
The Boston Red Sox make their lone trip to Anaheim on Aug. 22-24, followed by a return visit from the Yankees on Aug. 25-27. The interleague schedule includes home games against the Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres, road games against the Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants and two series against the Dodgers (May 19-21 at Dodger Stadium, June 30-July 2 at Angel Stadium).
In a one-year trial, the Angels will start day games at 12:30 p.m. instead of 1 p.m.