SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Major League Baseball's decision to pull the All-Star Game from Atlanta is giving businesses near Petco Park hope that the midsummer classic could come back to San Diego this year.
The league announced it would relocate the game due to Georgia's controversial new voter law.
The All-Star Game was last in San Diego in 2016, bringing in an estimated $80 million to the local economy. Should the game move to San Diego this July, it's unclear which events would be held with it, and what capacity restrictions would be in place at Petco Park.
Still, it would be a boost to local hotels and restaurants near the ballpark, which have seen a decline in business due to more than a year of canceled conventions.
"It would be, no pun intended with vaccines, such a shot in the arm to our industry that has just been decimated since last March," said Jeffrey Burg, general manager of the Marriott Gaslamp Quarter, adjacent to the ballpark. "We're ready to welcome people to the hotel and to our businesses and to the restaurants in the Gaslamp Quarter."
Burg said hotel stays are near capacity on weekends, but capacity drops to around 40 percent during the week due to the lack of conventions.
Anthony Schmidt, beverage director restaurant collective CH Projects, which owns J & Tony’s Discount Cured Meats And Negroni Warehouse near the ballpark, said the crowds would be welcome as long as protocols are followed.
"As long as we can accommodate people safely and we have every protocol in place to make sure that people are enjoying themselves in the most wholesome, healthy way in this world we're in, we're looking forward to any opportunity," he said.
While San Diego does offer nice weather and a prestigious ballpark, it is not on the short list on baseball pundit websites. It appears Milwaukee is the front runner, since it is where the legendary Hank Aaron started and ended his career. Aaron, who spent most of his time on the Atlanta Braves, passed away in January.