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Yankee Stadium to host All-Stars in final season

1/31/2007 - MLB New York Yankees

NEW YORK -- Yankee Stadium is going out with an All-Star
salute.

As first reported by ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney, the beloved old ballpark will host the 79th major league
All-Star Game on July 15, 2008, the final season before the New
York Yankees move into a new stadium being built across the street
in the Bronx.

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig and New York Mayor Michael
Bloomberg were on hand Wednesday at City Hall for the announcement,
which had been expected for months.

"When you think of Yankee Stadium it is the most, in my
opinion, famous cathedral in baseball -- and I think the most famous
stadium in the world," Selig said. "So we really believe that
this is the way we can honor a cathedral that has meant so much to
this sport for so long."

It will be the fourth All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium, which
opened in 1923 and underwent an extensive renovation in the
mid-1970s. The most recent summer showcase in The House That Ruth
Built was in 1977, when the National League won 7-5 for the sixth
of 11 consecutive victories over the AL.

Now, the American League has nine wins and a tie in the past 10
All-Star games going into this year's contest July 10 in San
Francisco. The 2009 game will be played in St. Louis.

"We're excited," Yankees general partner Steve Swindal said.
"It just seemed appropriate."

Yankees owner George Steinbrenner did not attend the news
conference. Swindal said The Boss had a scheduling conflict but was
feeling well in Tampa, Fla., and was working hard to get ready for
spring training.

Steinbrenner offered his comments in a news release from the
commissioner's office.


"It is always a great honor for a team's home stadium to serve
as host for the All-Star Game, and the Yankees are proud and
delighted to have been selected for the honor in 2008," he said.
"It will be one of many historic moments in the 2008 season as we
say goodbye to a great facility and look forward to our new
ballpark, where the heritage of the Yankees and Major League
Baseball will be extended for decades to come."

Yankee Stadium also was the site of All-Star Games in 1939 and
1960. All three seasons in which the game has been played there,
the Yankees have reached the World Series.

Bloomberg said the city estimates that the 2008 All-Star game
and its related events will generate about $150 million for New
York -- in addition to providing valuable exposure.

"Great news for the city. Finally my big chance to enter the
Home Run Derby," Bloomberg said, drawing laughs.

"Nobody stages big events like the Big Apple," he added.
"We'll put on the best All-Star game in baseball history."

It will be the eighth All-Star game in New York. The Polo
Grounds hosted the event in 1934 and 1942, Ebbets Field in 1949 and
Shea Stadium in 1964. Selig said the crosstown Mets are "on the
radar screen" to be awarded the Midsummer Classic once they get
their new ballpark, which is slated to open in 2009.

"I cannot tell you the intensity of competition for All-Star
Games," Selig said. "Ten years ago that wasn't true. Now I have a
long list."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.