Citizens Bank Park

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.

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Phillies are 5-1 because their offense is relentless

Phillies are 5-1 because their offense is relentless

Four hours before the scheduled first pitch, Phillies officials were strongly considering postponing Friday night’s game and playing a separate-admission doubleheader on Saturday. That’s how bad the weather forecast was.

The Phils rolled the dice that they could get the game in and it paid off. Yes, it was cold. Yes, it was wet. Yes, it was downright miserable. But everyone left happy when the Phils scored a 10-4 win over the Minnesota Twins at Citizens Bank Park (see observations).

“It was really rough out there,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “It was cold. And it was just a consistent wet. I know the outfielders were having some trouble seeing the ball.”

The teams played through a relentless rain for the first five innings.

And you know what else was relentless?

The Phillies’ offense.

Check it out: The Phils have played six games. They are 5-1. They have scored at least eight runs five times and reached double digits twice. Not since 1898, when Ed Delahanty and Nap Lajoie were smacking it around for the local nine, have the Phils opened a season by scoring at least five runs in each of their first six games.

“(Bench coach) Rob Thomson and I were talking about it on the bench,” Kapler said. “He looked at me toward the end of the game and he said, 'Man, this offense can grind you down.' That's a good description of what our guys have done thus far.”

The Phillies’ ability to score runs has started with the way they are seeing pitches, wearing down pitchers and getting on base. They are averaging over 6.5 walks per game. They had nine on Friday night. They saw 192 pitches, including 36 from Minnesota starter Jake Odorizzi. The Phils knocked Odorizzi out in the first inning and that’s always a good way to start a three-game series because of the effect it can have on an opponent’s bullpen.

“The story tonight is 192 pitches,” Kapler said. “The league average is 140-ish. That's what we've done the entire season. We've grinded down pitchers. We've gotten big hits. It's the deep counts. It's the walks. It's the great at-bats that have carried us thus far.”

Cleanup hitter Rhys Hoskins had a big game with three singles, a walk and four RBIs. He personally saw 36 pitches.

No opposing starting pitcher has gone more than five innings against this Phillies’ offense.

“That’s very encouraging,” Hoskins said. “We had a lot of that last year, too, especially towards the beginning. We also brought in some pretty good hitters, especially Andrew McCutchen at the top, taking at-bats like he does, leading off a game, leading off an inning, and it’s pretty contagious.

“Our lineup is just really deep. Guys are taking professional at-bats every time through a lineup and that wears on a pitcher. You take walks. Good things usually happen when you have guys on base all the time.”

And on the bases, these Phillies are aggressive.

For instance, Hoskins had a rare three-run single in the seventh inning, all because Bryce Harper capitalized on some slow play in the Minnesota outfield and scored from first base.

If Hoskins finishes with 100 RBIs, he can thank Harper for being aggressive.

“That was outstanding,” Hoskins said. “We had great base running all game. That’s just baseball instincts. You can’t teach that. I asked (third base coach) Dusty Wathan if he sent him and he didn’t. That was just all Bryce. It was fun in all facets of the game today.”

Hoskins needed to have some fun. He made a costly eighth-inning error in Wednesday’s one-run loss at Washington. Without that error, the Phillies might be 6-0.

But 5-1 ain’t too shabby.

“That’s baseball,” Hoskins said. “The beautiful part about this game is you usually get put in the same situations right away. So being able to have a short memory helps. All I was thinking about was today and a new opportunity.”

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A first look at the old Vet Stadium Liberty Bell now outside of Citizens Bank Park

A first look at the old Vet Stadium Liberty Bell now outside of Citizens Bank Park

It was 15 years ago today that Veterans Stadium went crumbling to the ground. But a piece of Vet Stadium history has risen from the ashes for a second life at Citizens Bank Park.

The giant 19-foot Liberty Bell that stood high atop Vet Stadium has been refurbished from storage and placed near the Pattison Avenue and 11th street entrance of the ballpark, next to the new Pass and Stow area that will feature a beer garden and some great new food options. The Pass and Stow name is in homage to John Pass and John Stow who re-cast the original Liberty Bell in 1753. Their names can be found on the original, slightly more famous bell with a crack in it across from Independence Hall.

With opening day just a week away, fans passing the ballpark on Thursday got their first glimpse of the bell’s new placement. The bell was installed today.

It’s hard to miss and will surely make a nice new photo opportunity for Phillies fans and out-of-towners looking to capture a memory.

The bell you see today was actually the "second and final bell that was displayed at Veterans Stadium," according to the Phillies. It was installed on the Vet's catwalk prior to the 1983 season and remained there before being removed prior to the Vet's implosion in 2004. It is made of steel and aluminum, weighs more than 5,000 pounds and contains over 300 light bulbs.

The new (old) bell outside the ballpark will make a nice complement to the bell inside the park that lights up and rings whenever a Phillies player hits a home run. In a nice twist, this season the Phillies' team Twitter hashtag will be #RingTheBell. Brett Brown likely approves.

As you can see from the short video of the bell above, the weather in South Philly today was wet and dreary. The forecast for opening day next Thursday when the Phils host the Atlanta Braves is much better, with no rain currently in the forecast and highs in the upper-50s. Not exactly hittin’ weather, but not bad for the first day of baseball either.

We can't wait.

*

Here's a look at the Vet going down 15 years ago today. Miss that dirty old place.

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