Phillies set to host 2026 MLB All-Star Game at Citizens Bank Park

Phillies set to host 2026 MLB All-Star Game at Citizens Bank Park

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.

"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.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Phillies

After a heart-attack special in Wrigley, Phillies head to Milwaukee for another test against Brewers

After a heart-attack special in Wrigley, Phillies head to Milwaukee for another test against Brewers

CHICAGO — Sometimes words aren’t needed.

Hector Neris emerged from a back room in the visiting clubhouse at Wrigley Field early Thursday evening. He stopped near his locker, took a big swig of cold water, smiled and gently patted his chest a few times.

If Neris’ ticker was still racing 20 minutes after he grinded through the final three outs of the Phillies’ three-hour, 55-minute, 9-7 win over the Chicago Cubs (see observations), it was completely understandable. Those final three outs were agonizing. The final two came with runners at second and third and the winning run at the plate after the Cubs had already pushed across one.

“Got the save,” the relieved reliever said. “My team got the win.”

It was a Wrigley Field special, a wild one, and the victory gave the Phils a split in the four-game series. They could have had three wins but they blew a one-run lead in the ninth on Tuesday.

The Phillies tried hard to blow a seven-run lead in this one and manager Gabe Kapler went deep into his bullpen and used five relievers after yanking Aaron Nola at 93 pitches with a five-run lead with one out in the sixth.

“I thought I was staying in,” Nola said. “I didn't know Gabe had already called to the bullpen. 

“I felt like I could've stayed in. I felt good. I kind of expected to face (Jason) Heyward right there. I felt like I just needed to execute a pitch and get a double play right there.”

On a day when Nola’s command was not sharp, Kapler decided to make a change.

“I don’t think Nola had his best command,” Kapler said. “He walked four batters. There was some hard contact in that inning and a near miss. It just felt like the right time to get (Adam) Morgan in there. 

"Sure, Noles being who he is could have gotten through that inning, but we don’t have the ability to have the alternate universe and see what could have happened if we left Nola out there. These are the debates, the natural debates that happen after a game like this.”

The parade of relievers that followed Nola mostly struggled. Morgan and Seranthony Dominguez survived walks in the sixth and Pat Neshek was tagged for three runs on a pair of homers in the seventh. Jose Alvarez got out of the seventh and Neris got out of the eighth before surviving a single, a walk and an RBI double in the ninth.

Kapler’s management of the bullpen has come under fire lately, even in his own clubhouse. It’s not ideal to use five relievers on a day you have a big lead with a big series against powerful Milwaukee looming, but Kapler defended himself.

“You always want it to be a piece of cake,” he said. “But that would be a pie-in-the-sky fantasy. It doesn't work like that. Players are too good. You have to be prepared for things to go sideways. Sure, in a perfect world, things would have been smoother. They weren’t smooth. But we stayed tough in the dugout all the way through that game.”

Neris got a tough out when he retired Javier Baez to end the eighth with two runners on. As Baez’s fly ball was landing in Andrew McCutchen’s glove, he passed Neris on the infield grass.

“Hey, you’re good, man,” Baez told Neris.

“Hey, you scare me,” Neris responded.

Neris did a good job managing his emotions in the ninth when, after allowing the first two men to reach base, he came back from a 3-0 count to strike out Heyward. Heyward was so ticked off he snapped his bat over his knee.

“I’m happy for Hector,” Kapler said. “He had the gutsiest performance possible out there. That lineup is never ending and every guy can hit the ball out of the ballpark. The way it went today, you always thought there could be more home runs. My initial thought when that ball landed in McCutchen’s glove (for the final out) was ‘Good for Hector.’ Good for such a dependable, rock-solid human being and a stud. So awesome to see that happen for him.”

The Phils’ offense was good. It got big hits and drove Jon Lester from the game early. The defense also came up big, particularly third baseman Sean Rodriguez, who stopped a potential Cubs’ rally with a huge play in the sixth.

“I know it's an old saying, probably used more in basketball than it is in baseball, but offense gets the glory but defense wins the game,” Rodriguez said.

The NL East-leading Phillies head for Milwaukee at 29-21. The Brewers (29-22) are just 1½ games behind the first-place Cubs in the NL Central. The Brewers beat the Phils up last week in Philadelphia, but the Phils believe they built some confidence against the Cubs in Chicago.

“We’ve got enough talent here in this room to beat anyone in the league,” shortstop Jean Segura said.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Phillies

Phillies 9, Cubs 7: Phillies jump out to big lead, hang on to salvage split

Phillies 9, Cubs 7: Phillies jump out to big lead, hang on to salvage split


CHICAGO — The Phillies tried hard to blow a seven-run lead at Wrigley Field on Thursday afternoon, but in the end held on for a 9-7 win over the Chicago Cubs and got out of town with a split in the four-game series that pitted two first-place clubs against each other.

The Phils head to Milwaukee at 29-21.

Aaron Nola was the beneficiary of that early 7-0 lead but he left after 5 1/3 innings as manager Gabe Kapler ran a bullpen shuttle that at times was good and at times was bad. Hector Neris was good — at least in the bottom line. He got dangerous Javier Baez, the potential tying run, for the final out of the eighth inning then stuck around for the final three outs and a save, though it wasn’t easy or pretty.

Even on a day when they had a big lead, Kapler used five relievers.

The Phillies’ offense had a big day.

Only a blown one-run lead in the ninth inning of Tuesday night’s game stood in the way of the Phillies taking three of four from the Cubs.

The keys

• Neris got the job done.

• The Phillies were able to do something they don’t do often. They took it to Jon Lester. They tagged the Cubs’ starter for seven hits, including two doubles and two homers, and seven runs over four innings. Three of those runs were unearned as the Cubs played shaky defense. Nonetheless, the Phillies did some damage against Lester, who had entered the game 8-0 with a 1.49 ERA against the Phillies in 10 career starts.

• Kapler did not start Maikel Franco because he was 1 for 12 with four strikeouts in his career against Lester. Kapler gave Sean Rodriguez the nod at third base and it paid dividends as Rodriguez had an important hit and scored a run in the Phillies’ three-run fourth inning. He also made the defensive play of the game to get Seranthony Dominguez out of a bases-loaded situation in the sixth. Rodriguez was shaded toward shortstop with lefty-hitting Victor Caratini at the plate. Caratini hit a groundball between Rodriguez and the line and Rodriguez beat Jason Heyward to the bag with a diving tag. Franco is probably not quick enough to make that play.

• Big day for some of the Phils’ top offseason acquisitions. Andrew McCutchen had two doubles, an RBI and scored two runs. Bryce Harper drove in a run in the first inning. J.T. Realmuto homered in the third. Jean Segura doubled and scored in the third and clubbed a two-run homer in the fourth.

Segura’s hitting streak is at 14 games.

The bullpen

Reliever Pat Neshek did not have a good day. He entered with an 8-3 lead in the seventh and faced five batters. He gave up a single, a two-run homer and a solo homer as the Cubs made it a two-run game. Jose Alvarez got the final out of the inning and two more in the eighth before handing off to Neris with two men on base. Neris turned it into a nervous ninth but survived. He got the final out with two men in scoring position.

Nola's day

The right-hander was staked to a nice 7-0 lead but pitched only 5 1/3 innings. Kapler lifted him for lefty Adam Morgan with the lefty-hitting Heyward up in the sixth and a man on second. Nola was at 93 pitches. Could he have kept going? Probably. But, obviously, Kapler did not like the matchup.

Nola gave up three runs, all in the fourth, and got a big double-play ball to slow the bleeding in that inning. Nola’s control was spotty. He walked four and struck out six. He is 5-0 with a 4.53 ERA in 11 starts.

Up next  

The Phils will bus to Milwaukee for the next stop on this seven-game road trip. They play a three-game series against the Brewers beginning Friday night. The Brewers (29-22) took three of four from the Phils last week in Philadelphia and outscored the Phils 22-6 in the final three games.

Jerad Eickhoff (2-2, 3.23) pitches Friday night against right-hander Chase Anderson (2-0, 2.66).

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Phillies