Previously the MBA held games in Mexico, Australia, and Japan, while a week ago the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres visited Estadio de Beishol which was a sold-out match in Monterrey. It is the first time in 2019 that Europe is where the Major League Baseball will be coming to and with this, the MLB acknowledged that the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees will face off at the London Stadium next year in June.
Robert D. Manfred is the driving force behind the matches, in 2015 he became the Commissioner of the MLB and expanded the horizons of the game to a global level and therefore he believes London is the ideal destination to kick off in Europe. His reasons include that London is home to a great sporting tradition and that the London Stadium is a great facility that can easily be converted into a first-class facility for baseball.
Venues not Confirmed
So far, no venues have been confirmed for the game festivities and both the NBA and NFL have enjoyed great success in the event in London. On the other hand, the Association Chief of Business Affairs for the MLB players, Tim Slavin did confirm that he liaised with the American League regarding the best utilisation of the events. MLB players are very keen to come to London and most voted in favour of London holding the games, while the MLB committed to games being held in 2020 in London. There are incentives financially for both the franchises and players in coming to London and Slavin did mention how the enthusiasm is growing worldwide for the game of baseball.
For the players what is most important is that their fans enjoy the experience as they have been playing it all their lives and therefore love the game. There is no doubt that London is a world-class city and players knows the warmth, culture and hospitality of it. With so many players being fond of London, Slavin imagines that many would want to bring their families along and spend some time in the city. But, then again, the season is really long, and the visit would need to be fitted in, in a short period, yet there is no doubt that they would have a great time and be majorly impressed at the end of it.
Baseball is exceptionally popular in Latin Caribbean, America, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, while it is also hugely enjoyed in East Asia and makes a return to the Olympics in 2020 in Tokyo. For now, the ultimate goal is to cultivate a fan base in the UK and then also throughout Europe, which it could hold great benefits for the game in the future, according to the Commissioner.