On Monday, Job Creators Network, the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization, filed a lawsuit in federal court in New York against Major League Baseball (MLB), as well as MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, the Major League Baseball Players Association and Executive Director Tony Clark, after Major League Baseball moved the All-Star game from Atlanta. The plaintiffs demand that the MLB return the game to Atlanta immediately or pay $100 million in damages to local and state small businesses.
In July 2019, MLB announced the 2021 All Star Game would be played at SunTrust Park (now named Truist Park), the home field of the Atlanta Braves. On March 26, 2021, Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed the Election Integrity Act.
MLB alleged that the new law discriminated against voters, using that reasoning to remove the All-Star Game from Atlanta. President Biden chimed in that he “would support Major League Baseball moving this year’s All-Star Game out of Atlanta in response to recently signed legislation that tightens voting laws in Georgia,” adding to Sage Steele of ESPN, “This is Jim Crow on steroids, what they’re doing in Georgia.”
On April 2, 2021, the MLB announced that it was moving the All-Star Game out of Atlanta. Four days later it awarded the game to Denver, Colorado.
The lawsuit pointed out, “According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Atlanta has a 51% black population, while Denver’s black population is only 9%. U.S. Census Bureau data also indicates that there are roughly 7.5 times more black-owned small businesses in Georgia than Colorado.”
Cobb County Chief Financial Officer William Volckmann estimated that the All-Star Game at Truist Park in July would cost taxpayers roughly $2 million in expenses, but the county would see a “robust return” on the investment.
The lawsuit notes, “Indeed, over the past ten years, hosting cities have enjoyed economic activity ranging from $37 million to $190 million.”
“Many of our surrounding hotels/motels are already completely sold out and the travel and tourism industry, restaurants and event venues will certainly benefit from the All-Star Game,” Volckman said.
The lawsuit continued:
Critics of the bill also falsely claimed the new Georgia bill would prohibit food or drink from being passed out to people waiting in line to vote. As The Daily Wire previously reported, the bill does not prevent people waiting in line to vote from receiving food or water, but politicians and their staff cannot provide it in an effort to secure votes. Poll workers can pass out water or food as they see fit.
The damages resulting from the cancellation of the All-Star Game in Atlanta are staggering. More than 8,000 hotel reservations were canceled; revenues from ticket sales and stadium food by the more than 41,000 expected to attend the events at Truist Park were lost.
President Biden stated of the Election Integrity Act, “Imagine passing a law saying you cannot provide water or food for someone standing in line to vote? Can’t do that? Come on. Or you’re going to close a polling place at five o’clock when working people just get off? This is all about keeping working folks and ordinary folks that I grew up with from being able to vote.”
As The Daily Wire previously reported, “the damages resulting from the cancellation of the All-Star Game in Atlanta are staggering. More than 8,000 hotel reservations were canceled; revenues from ticket sales and stadium food by the more than 41,000 expected to attend the events at Truist Park were lost.”
“MLB robbed the small businesses of Atlanta – many of them minority-owned – of $100 million, we want the game back where it belongs,” Alfredo Ortiz, president and CEO of the Job Creators Network, stated. “This was a knee-jerk, hypocritical and illegal reaction to misinformation about Georgia’s new voting law which includes Voter-ID. Major League Baseball itself requests ID at will-call ticket windows at Yankee Stadium in New York, Busch Stadium in St. Louis and at ballparks all across the country.”
“Small businesses in this community had valid contracts relating to the All-Star Game and other events, the result of two years of planning and all that was ripped away by fear and misinformation spewed by political activists,” Ortiz added. “Many states, including Colorado where the game has been moved to, have similar or more restrictive election laws. This move essentially tells fans of teams in many other cities that they can never again host the All-Star Game; it’s hypocritical, illegal and we won’t stand for it.”
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