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MLB awards Texas with All-Star Game after exiting Georgia over similar voting law

This will be the first time Globe Life Field has hosted the All-Star Game since opening in July 2020.

ARLINGTON, Texas — Major League Baseball announced Thursday that the 2024 All-Star game would be hosted at Globe Life Field in Arlington. 

"Major League Baseball is pleased to award the 2024 All-Star Game to the Rangers and the Cities of Arlington and Fort Worth, which presented a robust bid for All-Star Week," Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "The Rangers stepped up under difficult circumstances and Globe Life Field served as terrific host for the 2020 Postseason, including the World Series. We are excited to once again feature Baseball’s newest ballpark on a global stage next summer."

Globe Life Field opened in July 2020 and hosted the NLCS and World Series that season during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will mark the first time Globe Life Field hosts the league's All-Star Game.

The MLB's decision is not without confusion.

In 2021, the MLB All-Star Game was set to be held in Atlanta. That was until Georgia passed contentious voting laws

As a result, Major League Baseball – with influence from the MLB Players Alliance – decided to move the 2021 All-Star Game to Denver, Colo. instead. President Joe Biden supported the MLB's decision.

Yet, Texas passed a similar bill to Georgia's in September 2021. The law banned 24-hour voting centers and drive-thru voting, updated voter ID requirements, prevented Texans from automatically getting a mail voting application, and increased access for partisan poll watchers.

Nearly a year later, the MLB granted Arlington the 2024 All-Star Game. What changed in the MLB's mind?

"I really can't answer that," Rob Matwick, Rangers Executive Vice President of Business Operations, told WFAA during Thursday's press conference. "That's a question more for the commissioner's office or governor's office ... We've been pursuing the game since we were under construction [prior to MLB's decision to 2021]."

There was no representative from Major League Baseball at the press conference outside Globe Life Field.

The last time the Texas Rangers served as host for the All-Star Game was in 1995, when the team played at the adjacent Choctaw Stadium, then-called the Ballpark in Arlington. In that All-Star Game, the National League defeated the American League, 3-2, and Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez was the starting catcher for the AL.

"The Texas Rangers are honored to be awarded the 2024 All-Star Game,” Rangers majority owner and managing partner Ray Davis said.  "With the opening of Globe Life Field in 2020 and the incredible development that continues to take place around the park, Arlington is an ideal location to host Major League Baseball and the Midsummer Classic. 

The Mariners are hosting the 2023 All-Star Game at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.

The All-Star Game announcement comes amid numerous other Rangers storylines in the offseason, including the incoming manager Bruce Bochy

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott congratulated Arlington on being awarded the All-Star Game: 

"Congratulations to the Texas Rangers on being awarded the 2024 MLB All-Star Game. Thanks to the hard work of the Rangers franchise and local leaders, Texas has once again proven itself to be a premier destination for business and America's pastime: baseball. The MLB All-Star Game will be a boon to our state's economy and tourism industry. I look forward to working alongside community partners to ensure we host the best All-Star Game of all time right here in the Lone Star State."

Abbott's statement on Thursday was a change of tune compared to what he publicly said in April 2021 after the All-Star Game was moved from Atlanta. He declined to throw the first pitch at the Rangers' opener in 2021, saying MLB decided to perpetuate false political narratives. 

In his 2021 statement, Abbott said the State would "not seek to host the All-Star Game or any other MLB special events."

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