Washington is going to have to wait a while longer to land the Midsummer Classic.
Considered the favorites to host the 2015 All-Star Game as recently as last summer, the Nationals have been beaten out by the Reds, who will officially be awarded the game by commissioner Bud Selig today, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
One of three NL clubs vying for the event in 2015 -- along with the Nationals and Marlins -- the Reds were initially told by Major League Baseball they would be in line to host the 2019 game. Owner Bob Castellini, according to the Enquirer, pushed Selig to give them the 2015 game and apparently was successful in bringing the All-Star Game to Cincinnati for the first time since 1988.
The Nationals have been interested in hosting the All-Star Game since Nationals Park opened in 2008, but MLB officials have expressed concern all along about the slow development of the area around the ballpark. Though a few establishments are expected to begin opening in the next two years, those officials may want to see concrete evidence of the development before committing the game to D.C.
Because MLB prefers to alternate between NL and AL cities each summer, the earliest the All-Star Game could come to Washington now will be 2017. Other NL cities vying for that game figure to include Miami, San Diego and Philadelphia.
Another complicating factor: The Orioles have already submitted a bid for the 2016 All-Star Game, attempting to bring the event back to Camden Yards 23 years after the iconic ballpark first played host. MLB prefers not to hold back-to-back All-Star Games in nearby markets.
"Teams are desperate for the game, and I really have my hands full trying to juggle through the next few years trying to be as fair as possible," Selig said last July. "Ten, 15 years ago you had to beg people to take it. You had to offer them some other kind of carrots for them to take this game."
This year's All-Star Game will be played at New York's Citi Field (five years after Yankee Stadium hosted the event in its final season of existence). The 2014 game will be played at Minnesota's Target Field.
Washington has hosted four previous Midsummer Classics: the 1937 and 1956 games at Griffith Stadium and the 1962 and 1969 games at what later became known as RFK Stadium.