Shapiro ‘optimistic’ MLB All-Star Game will come to Toronto

After completing the renovations of the Rogers Centre, Toronto Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro wants to share the new-and-improved stadium with the rest of MLB.

Shapiro spent the bottom half of the third inning in the booth with Sportsnet’s Dan Shulman and Buck Martinez during Monday night’s game home opener and was asked about what was next on his to-do list.

“You’re never really done, but there’s one major thing left on that list and that’s to win a world championship,” he said. “So that’s what we’re focused on collectively as an organization.”

But as far as off-the-field developments go, Shapiro thinks an All-Star Game might be coming to Toronto in the near future.

“We’re working on that one,” he said when asked about potentially hosting a Midsummer Classic. “The commissioner is coming at the end of the month for a visit, not by mistake because we want to show him what we’ve done here and (we) feel like there’s a good chance of that happening in the next four or five years.”

“I’m feeling optimistic on that one. I’m not exactly sure what the year will be, and it’s been a long time for Boston and Chicago as well … but we’re on the list,” Shapiro added.

The MLB All-Star Game hasn’t been hosted in Toronto since 1991, when the American League won 4-2 over the National League, led by Cal Ripken Jr.’s two-hit performance.

During a spring training press conference in February, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred mentioned Toronto among the candidates to host one of the final two All-Star Games he is scheduled to award before his retirement.

The game has been awarded to Texas this summer, Atlanta in 2025 and Philadelphia in 2026, but Manfred is expected to award the 2027 and 2028 events.

“I am strongly influenced by two things,” Manfred said. “One, when did you last have a game? Toronto stacks up pretty well on that variable. I think Chicago is older.

“And two, the city. Our All-Star, what’s become most of the week, we need certain facilities and certain types of support … and the city being willing to step up on those issues is the other big variable.”

The Cubs last hosted the game in 1990.

The Blue Jays have been pushing to host an All-Star Game for a couple of years and a glimpse of what could be in the city came earlier this year when Toronto hosted the NHL’s version of the contest.