ST. LOUIS -- Less than three months after bringing home St. Louis' first World Series championship in 24 years, the Cardinals received a gift even longer in the making. Busch Stadium will host the 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
Commissioner Bud Selig made the announcement at the annual St. Louis Baseball Writers Dinner, held at the Millennium Hotel in downtown St. Louis.
"There can't be a better baseball town in America," Selig said.
The last time St. Louis hosted the Midsummer Classic was 1966, the inaugural season of the previous Busch Stadium. The National League won that game in a classic, defeating the AL by a 2-1 score in 10 innings.
"It really is a big deal for the Cardinals and St. Louis," said Bill DeWitt Jr., the team's principal owner. "It's been a long time for the city. This will cap off our new park, and by 2009 the Ballpark Village will be in great shape."
Ballpark Village is a downtown development slated to be built adjacent to the new Busch Stadium. When it opens, it will feature shops, restaurants and condominiums. The All-Star Game gives the Cardinals a little added motivation to get the development done in that time.
New Busch Stadium opened in 2006. The Cardinals became the first team to inaugurate a new ballpark with a World Series championship since the Red Sox at Fenway Park in 1912.
San Francisco will host the 2007 All-Star Game. The site of the 2008 game has yet to be determined, but it will take place at an American League venue. Yankee Stadium and Angel Stadium in Anaheim are considered to be among the leading candidates for that event.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.