The Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins are set to play at Fort Bragg on Sunday, July 3, marking the first-ever professional game on an active military base, Major League Baseball announced Tuesday.
Fort Bragg, located in North Carolina, houses 250,000 people over 500 square miles and is the most populated military institution in the U.S. The teams will play on a brand-new, 12,500 capacity ballpark that will eventually be converted for softball use, as a gift from Major League Baseball.
The 8 p.m. game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball on the eve of Independence Day. The Braves will play as the home team.
“Major League Baseball's boundless gratitude to our military has led us to a unique event that will benefit the men and women of Fort Bragg and their families for many years," commissioner Rob Manfred said in a release. "I thank the Braves and the Marlins for their participation and all of our clubs and players for contributing to this gesture, which will stand as a fitting new chapter in the national pastime's proud and distinguished military history.”
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“As the son of a Navy officer, I am extremely proud to stand with all players and Major League Baseball as we honor our nation’s military and our country, through the playing of a regular season game in historic Fort Bragg on Fourth of July Weekend,” said MLBPA executive director Tony Clark in a statement. “Many players are the grandsons, sons and brothers of men and women who have served or continue to serve our country. This one-of-a-kind ballpark construction project provides us with an opportunity to say 'thank you' to all who serve to protect our great nation.”