MLB All-Star Game Move Costs Atlanta Millions

The push to move Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game out of Atlanta in the name of racial equity cost the majority-black city an estimated $70 million or more, Fox Business reports.

"My guess from the experts I've heard…is $70 million," said Roger Dow, president CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, per Fox Business. "But here's the thing that people don't count on – it's the exposure that you get from media, of having the game on, and people doing the pre-shows, and all that."

Dow said that includes free televised publicity as well as return visits to the city from people who came for the game.

"I think that's the big loss, much bigger than the $70 million," Dow said.

He explained that it's not big businesses that will suffer, but vendors, souvenir shops, bars and restaurants.

"The ones that really need to keep their doors open, they're the ones that got harmed the most," he said to Fox, mentioning the COVID-19 closures and restrictions the businesses previously faced. "This would've been such a boost in the arm for them."

In April, OutKick's Clint Lamb reported MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred said after conversations with clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance, the league decided the best way to demonstrate the values of the sport was to relocate the All-Star Game and MLB Draft.

“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box," Manfred said in a statement. "In 2020, MLB became the first professional sports league to join the non-partisan Civic Alliance to help build a future in which everyone participates in shaping the United States. We proudly used our platform to encourage baseball fans and communities throughout our country to perform their civic duty and actively participate in the voting process. Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support."

OutKick's Clay Travis blasted Manfred ahead of Tuesday's All-Star Game for moving the annual classic from Atlanta to Colorado in response to Georgia’s new election law.

“Rob Manfred ... completely blew it with this choice," Travis said on Fox News. "And I think it’s gonna potentially play a big role in the 2022 senate election with Raphael Warnock running, potentially against [Republican] Herschel Walker as a big matchup over Senate control next year."

OutKick's Bobby Burack previously reported that a poll conducted by the University of Georgia found that 54% of registered Georgia voters opposed MLB’s decision to move the event to Denver in response to a Republican-backed voting bill.

Vernon Jones, a Republican gubernatorial candidate from DeKalb County — which includes part of Atlanta, as well as some of its suburbs — criticized the league for moving the game.

"Woke corporations won’t tell us Georgians how to run our state and certainly won’t tell us how we should secure our elections," he told Fox News during the All-Star Game. "By moving the All-Star game to Colorado, to a state with even more restrictive voting laws than Georgia, MLB cost our state millions of dollars, hurting the very black communities they claim to care so much about. They should be ashamed." 

The Job Creators Network filed a $100 million lawsuit in federal court in New York against the MLB, OutKick's Sam Amico previously reported.

Part of the suit demanded the MLB return the All-Star Game to Cobb County. It claims that the sum of money requested is for damages to local and state small businesses already impacted by the decision. Many of these businesses are owned by minorities and are still recovering from losses during the pandemic.

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Megan graduated from the University of Central Florida and writes and tweets about anything related to sports. She replies to comments she shouldn't reply to online and thinks the CFP Rankings are absolutely rigged. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.