MELBOURNE, 24 September - Victorian Minister for Sport and Recreation, the Hon Hugh Delahunty, announced today that Melbourne will once again host the 2013 ABL All-Star Game at Melbourne Ballpark on Wednesday, 18 December.
The 2013 ABL All-Star Game, now in its third year, will see some of the world's best baseball talent take the field for a single, nine-inning exhibition game between Team Australia and the ABL's best international players.
This year's event will mark the only chance to see the Australian National Baseball Team compete on home soil in 2013. Both rosters will be stacked with players representing the world's largest professional baseball leagues, including Major League Baseball (US), Nippon Professional Baseball (Japan) and the Korean Baseball Organisation.
For the first time, the ABL All-Star game will be held as a standalone event during the week rather than during weekend games to ensure the best players will be available.
The 2013 ABL All-Star game is televised annually in Australia and internationally to over 25 Asian-Pacific countries including Japan, Korea and Taiwan, where baseball is the national sport. The All-Star game will showcase the city of Melbourne to an estimated total TV audience of over 75 million people.
The announcement by Sport Recreation Victoria to invest in the event for the second consecutive year follows a $325,000 refurbishment of Melbourne Ballpark, home of the league's Melbourne Aces.
"The ABL All Star Match is an eagerly anticipated fixture in Australia's baseball calendar and the Victorian Government is proud to contribute $40,000 from the Significant Sporting Events Program to secure this event for Victoria," Mr Delahunty said. "Through our funding programs we can develop and support a wide range of events, like the ABL All Star Match, that give our players opportunities to compete and help keep Victoria in the national and international spotlight."
"We are grateful for the Victorian Government's ongoing efforts in growing baseball in the state," says Ben Foster, General Manager of the ABL. "The refurbished Melbourne Ballpark is arguably Australia's best baseball facility and the perfect setting to host one of our sport's biggest events.
Renovations included a new playing surface and home run fence, new public address system, luxury corporate facilities, improvements to the dugouts and players' clubhouses, spectator seating and more.
Aces members will have early access to 2013 ABL All-Star Game tickets via a members-only presale for one week following today's announcement before tickets go on sale to the general public.