Atlanta Can Host World Series After Losing MLB All-Star Game For State Voting Laws

After the Atlanta Braves had the 2021 MLB All-Star Game moved out of their park due to a slate of restrictive voting laws in Georgia, it turns out that baseball's biggest event, the World Series, might end up in their backyard instead.

The Braves defeated the Milwaukee Brewers, 5-4, on Tuesday to advance to the National League Championship Series (NLCS), where they'll face either the San Fransisco Giants or Los Angeles Dodgers.

The winner of the NLCS will then advance to the World Series to play the champion of the American League, either the Boston Red Sox or Houston Astros.

So, while Major League Baseball (MLB) shipped this years' All-Star Game and its surrounding events like the Home Run Derby out of Georgia, there is a chance that the World Series, the pinnacle of professional baseball, could end up in Atlanta after all.

The controversy first began earlier this year when it was announced that the league's 2021 All-Star Game, which was to originally be held at the Braves' Truist Park, would instead take place at Coors Field, the home of the Colorado Rockies.

The move was made by the MLB in protest after the Georgia State Legislature passed the Election Integrity Act of 2021. The GOP-led bill, which was backed by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, has been heavily criticized for making it harder for minorities in the state to vote by implementing unnecessarily restrictive voter identification policies.

President Joe Biden, one of the bill's most ardent opponents, referred to it as "Jim Crow on steroids" and told ESPN that he would "strongly support" the MLB's decision to move the game out of Atlanta.

Besides MLB, numerous other corporations based in Georgia, such as Home Depot, Coca-Cola, and Delta Air Lines, released statements opposing the bill after a number of nationwide boycotts started against their products and services.

Truist Park Atlanta Braves
A general view of Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves, during Game 4 of the team's NLDS matchup against the Milwaukee Brewers on October 12, 2021. The Braves won the game and now move onto play for the National League pennant, putting them just four wins away from reaching the World Series. Michael Zarrilli/Getty

The Braves issued a statement against the decision to move the All-Star Game, saying they were "deeply disappointed," but also pledged to support voting rights in Georgia.

"[The voting bill] was neither our decision nor our recommendation and we are saddened that fans will not be able to see this event in our city," the team said. "The Braves organization will continue to stress the importance of equal voting opportunities and we had hoped our city could use this event as a platform to enhance the discussion."

With the Braves just four victories away from the National League pennant, the prospect of Atlanta returning to the World Series could once again reignite controversy, given that the potential matchup happening in the city could be just as large or larger of an event for the state, depending on how long the series went.

Atlanta officials estimated that moving the All-Star Game out of their ballpark cost the city $100 million in revenue, and the city of Denver said that they, in turn, accrued a similar amount when the game was moved to Colorado.

It is possible that a World Series in Atlanta could provide a similar economic boost, although estimates vary widely. KPRC Houston reported in 2017 that the Astros' playoff run that year, in which the team won the World Series, brought in nearly $125 million for the city.

Should the Braves make it to the World Series, they would face either the Boston Red Sox or Houston Astros, both of whom have already made the American League Championship Series. Since those teams each have a better regular-season record than Atlanta, either the Red Sox or Astros would have home-field advantage through the World Series. That means the ALCS champs would host games 1 and 2, with Atlanta hosting the third and fourth games in the best-of-7 series.

Atlanta would be guaranteed at least two games, though, with a third game also happening in Atlanta if the Series isn't won by Game 4.

Newsweek reached out to the MLB's Executive Relations department for comment.