London could host a marquee matchup in the coming years, as the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are interested in shifting one of their series.
London has been on Major League Baseball’s radar over the last few years. At one point, it seemed that regular season contests could be shifted to the city in 2017, but the league confirmed in July that it was scratching that plan, citing the need to focus on a new collective bargaining agreement and next spring’s World Baseball Classic. By September, it was clear that MLB was still working to bring games to London in the near future.
Officials from both the Red Sox and Yankees are making it known that they are open to moving a series, likely a pair of games, to London in the future. Scheduling remains uncertain at this point, but with MLB looking to stage games in London as early as 2018, both teams are making their case. More from the Boston Herald:
By no earlier than next spring, the commissioner’s office and the MLBPA could sign off on the ultimate decision about the ultimate matchup: Yankees vs. Red Sox in a neutral, across-the-pond site.
“It would be great” to play the Yankees in London, said Red Sox president Sam Kennedy recently. “We would really like to do it.”
Randy Levine, president of the Yankees, expressed similar enthusiasm.
“The Yankees have been at the forefront of suggesting that we bring the great game of baseball to London,” said Levine in an email. “There have been some meaningful attempts to do so, and we are hopeful and confident that we can play there soon. Playing the Red Sox in London would be a special and unique event.”
Both Kennedy and Levine serve on MLB’s International Committee. When two of the sport’s super powers get behind a showcase such as this one, the momentum and enthusiasm could prove hard for MLB to resist.
Moving any games abroad requires careful consideration, and that will be the case here, as games between these two teams at either Fenway Park or Yankee Stadium will lure fans regardless of their magnitude. Still, MLB has been clear in its pursuit of London for international games, and a series between two of the sport’s most iconic franchises would represent a strong commitment to that plan.