MLB made official what has long been known: Citizens Bank Park will host the 2026 All-Star Game to commemorate America's 250th birthday.
A press conference was held at Independence Hall Tuesday afternoon to officially announce it.
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"I'm here to make official one of the worst kept secrets in America," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said jokingly. "The 2026 All-Star Game has been awarded to the Philadelphia Phillies and the city of Philadelphia."
The 1976 All-Star Game was also held in Philadelphia to celebrate the bicentennial. In 1996, the All-Star Game came to the Vet.
Manfred delivered a heartfelt and emotional thank you to Phillies chairman David Montgomery.
There was also a personal component to [the announcement]. In the last 30 years, one of my best friends in baseball has been David Montgomery, the chairman of the Phillies. He's been a mentor, a friend, an adviser and I can say without hesitation, I would not stand here as the commissioner of baseball were it not for David Montgomery.
In those 30 years, Dave never asked me for a favor, for the Phillies or for himself. But almost two years ago, he began asking me whether we could announce a 2026 All-Star Game here in Philadelphia and whether we could announce it really soon. He didn't do that for himself, he didn't even really do it for the Phillies, he did it for the fans here in Philadelphia.
My only regret about today is that David is unable to be here with us today and I hope all of you will join me in wishing David and his family well.
This will be Citizens Bank Park's first All-Star Game. The Phillies hadn't really pursued previous All-Star Games during the ballpark's existence because of the plan to hold it here for another milestone in the nation's history.
Philly is also a potential host city for the World Cup in 2026 - which will be more than halfway through the 13 years of Bryce Harper's contract - so you might want to start setting aside some dates that summer.
Harper was one of the current Phillies on hand. He spoke toward the end of the press conference and finished with: "Of course, let's go Phillies. Ring that bell, baby, let's go!"
NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jordan Hall contributed to this story.
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