MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is continuing to make the pitch for Milwaukee to land the 2021 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. The league’s commissioner announced last Friday that the game will be relocated from Atlanta due to the state’s new voting restrictions.
Mayor Barrett said Milwaukee makes sense for the All-Star Game because the league plans to pay tribute to the late Hank Aaron during the event.
Dozens of cities with Major League Baseball teams are likely vying for this summer’s All-Star Game, but Mayor Barrett thinks Milwaukee holds a major leg up on the competition, a rich history with Hammerin’ Hank.
“I think it’s important for people to recognize that actually, the lion’s share of Hank Aaron’s career was right here in Milwaukee,” Mayor Barrett said.
Mayor Barrett said he contacted the MLB commissioner Friday, just hours after finding out Atlanta would no longer be the host site. Mayor Barrett points to Hank Aaron’s 14 years as a player in Milwaukee.
“I wanted them to know that we would be very, very excited here in Milwaukee to be honoring Hank Aaron, because there still is so much love in this community for him,” Mayor Barrett said.
The economic impact would also be substantial. Major League Baseball estimates the All-Star weekend will bring the host city between $37 and $190 million. Cobb County, Georgia tourism officials said they estimate the community will lose more than $100 million after the decision to relocate.
Mark Kass with our partners at the Milwaukee Business Journal said the state and nation’s situation with the pandemic will play a big factor when it comes to money.
“It would be a significant thing for the city. Now, I’m not sure what the attendance would be, because who knows where we would be with COVID-19, but still, having that here with the spotlight, it would be tremendous for the city,” he said.
Kass said one thing is certain: if Milwaukee were to land the All-Star Game, it would make up for losing the 2020 Democratic National Convention to a virtual event.
Milwaukee restaurants and hotels were hoping the anticipated 50,000 visitors and a $200 million economic impact from the DNC would help them recover from the pandemic.
Schuster Mansion Bed and Breakfast owner Laura Suemosier said a Milwaukee All-Star Game could fill that void.
“That would give us a kick-start to helping with our summer, because it has been bad for the last year,” Suemosier said.
The last time Milwaukee hosted an MLB All-Star Game was in 2002 at Miller Park. Major League Baseball’s commissioner said his decision for this summer’s All-Star weekend host site is imminent.