More than a dozen business leaders across Arizona are urging Major League Baseball’s commissioner to keep the 2011 All-Star Game in Phoenix.

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council, of which Maricopa is a member, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Arizona Chamber of Commerce, Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Greater Phoenix Black Chamber of Commerce, and Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities are among the organizations that have signed a letter to Commissioner Bud Selig.

The business and economic leaders are asking Selig to not take a position against the state by moving the game.

“We understand the MLB is facing pressure to reconsider Phoenix as the site of next year’s All-Star Game; however, a relocation decision will equate to lost jobs for innocent citizens, including our Hispanic community,” the letter states. “Arizona has a proven track record in executing safe, enjoyable and successful major events. From the NFL’s Super Bowl XLII, to the NBA’s All-Star Game—and several marquee events in between—Arizona has demonstrated the ability to be an effective, welcoming host.”

The letter, sent on May 12, calls boycotts “unmerited and harmful.”

“We are very concerned about families and businesses affected by this polarizing debate that has lacked a discussion of solutions,” said Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “Greater Phoenix is full of business and tourism opportunities that outshine other regions.”

Boycotts ultimately hurt the people of Arizona – especially workers in the hospitality and tourism sector – who had nothing to do with the passage of this law, said Glenn Hamer, Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry president and CEO.

“We don’t want to see Major League Baseball become a pawn in a political debate. If MLB capitulates to calls to boycott Arizona, it will set a dangerous precedent for when another incendiary political issue crops up in another MLB city,” Hamer said.

Boycotts generally hurt the people they are intended to help, said Todd Sanders, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.

The loss of the All-Star Game would be a difficult blow to Greater Phoenix’s dynamic economy, which is recovering, Sanders said.

“I would encourage Major League Baseball to join us in calming the waters and urge Congress to do the right thing and engage the immigration question,” Sanders said.

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