The London Stadium will host two regular games between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox
Major League Baseball (MLB) will be making its European debut next year, when the London Stadium will host two regular season games between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.
The landmark fixtures will see the sport played in the UK for the very first time and ist part of the US-based league's strategy to expand its reach beyond North America.
MLB has staged regular season games in Mexico, Japan, Australia and Puerto Rico, but has never ventured to Europe.
It will also be the first time that the Yankees & Red Sox rivalry – considered among the fiercest in the league – has been contested outside of the US.
“The event will see London Stadium further its aims to become the most widely used stadium in Europe," said Graham Gilmore, CEO of London Stadium.
“The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox rekindling their rivalry in the UK for the very first time, at London Stadium, will provide yet another incredible sporting spectacle which the entire city can be proud of.
“We look forward to welcoming the MLB, teams and fans to London Stadium for the first year of what we hope to be a fruitful, long term partnership.”
It is believed that the MLB London Series 2019 will be followed by another set of games in 2020, as the league looks to establish "a long-term footprint in the city".
MLB becomes the latest US professional league to stage regular season games in the UK, spurred on by increased interest in American sports.
The National Football League (NFL) has been hosting regular games in London since 2007 and both the National Hockey League (NHL) and National Basketball Association (NBA) have included the UK in their international series' in the past.
In 2016, the MLB scrapped initial plans to organise games in London due to "lack of time".
First published: www.sportsmanagement.co.uk written by Tom Walker 8 May 2018