In one of his final acts as Major League Baseball commissioner, Bud Selig is expected to officially announce next month which city will host the 2016 All-Star Game, and it is "highly unlikely" that it will be Baltimore, according to an industry source.
Orioles officials have not heard anything directly from Major League Baseball about the July 2016 event, according to multiple sources, but they have, for some time, expected Baltimore to be passed over by the commissioner's office.
One industry source said the Orioles expressed interest in potentially hosting the 2016 event, but it was not considered a top priority within the organization.
Instead, much of the club's attention — as it pertains to dealing with the league office — is its ongoing legal dispute with MLB and the Washington Nationals involving the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network's television rights fees.
In May, Selig — who officially retires Jan. 25 from a post that he has held since 1992 — called Baltimore a "very, very viable candidate" to host the 2016 All-Star Game. He also said in August that the MASN dispute would not be a detriment toward the club's efforts in obtaining the game, and he stressed that he would prefer to keep it on a rotating basis between leagues.
Under that premise, an American League team would have been in line as 2016 host because the 2015 game will be played in Cincinnati, a National League city. But it looks like the AL will get skipped.
An industry source said the 2016 game almost certainly will be played in an NL city — the first time since 2006 and 2007 that one league has hosted consecutive All-Star Games.
Several reports have indicated that the 2016 game will be played in San Diego, which last had the annual event at old Jack Murphy Stadium in 1992. Petco Park, which opened in 2004, has never hosted the game.
An official announcement is expected in January, likely during the owners' quarterly meetings in Phoenix in the middle of the month.
It's possible that the 2017 All-Star Game also will be awarded at that time — and there's the potential for an NL city to host that one, too.
There are current stadiums in Washington, D.C., Miami and Philadelphia that have never hosted an All-Star Game. The only current AL city that hasn't hosted is Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla., and stadium issues there would prevent that area from being a viable candidate.
Baltimore has hosted two major league All-Star Games — in 1958 at Memorial Stadium and in 1993, the club's second season at Camden Yards. Only Oakland and Toronto in the AL have gone longer without an All-Star Game.
Various outlets, including Bleacher Report/Turner Sports, reported earlier this month that San Diego will be awarded the event. MASNSports.com reported Monday that the Orioles didn't expect to get it.