Major League Baseball is making its first foray into Europe, as the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees will meet in London for a regular-season series in 2019. The two-game series will take place at London Stadium from June 29-30.
London Stadium, the site of the 2012 Olympic Games, which will take on a baseball configuration for the event. The estimated capacity of London Stadium for the series will be 55,000. The United Kingdom will follow other international venues that have hosted regular season Major League games, joining Mexico, Japan, Puerto Rico and Australia. The parties have agreed to a two-year deal that will include another series in London in 2020, with participating teams to be announced, and other initiatives that will aim to establish a footprint in the city.
“Major League Baseball is excited to be bringing one of the most storied rivalries in sports to the passionate fans of London,” said MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. “In our ongoing efforts to grow baseball, there is nothing as impactful as bringing live games and our talented players to fans. This is our most significant endeavor ever in Europe and we look forward to showcasing Major League Baseball in one of the world’s great cities.”
“Some of the most talented and dynamic players in the world will be playing in these games,” said Tony Clark, Executive Director of the MLB Players Association. “They are excited about the chance to meet new fans, and showcase the game they love. They are aware they’ll be a part of history, but they also know these games count. So fans can expect intense competition during what will surely be a great few days in London.”
“I am absolutely delighted that we have secured this historic agreement for Major League Baseball to come to London in 2019 and 2020,” said London Mayor Sadiq Khan. “All the hard work has paid off. There is no better way to start the London Series and the first Major League Baseball fixture in Europe than a clash between two heavyweights of international sport – the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. This is a major coup demonstrating, once again, that London is the sporting capital of the world and I am excited about a new partnership with MLB and the long term future of this sport in our great city.”
“For several years the Red Sox and Yankees have discussed playing in London as the first-ever Major League Baseball regular season game in Europe,” said Boston Red Sox Principal Owner John W. Henry. “It’s also the first time the Red Sox and Yankees have played one another outside of New York or Boston. There were significant challenges that had to be overcome. We could not be happier that Commissioner Manfred has been able to make this a reality. This series will surely be the most significant international event to date for Major League ball. I can’t wait to hear someone shout ‘play ball’ at London Stadium.”
“To have the opportunity to participate in this historic baseball endeavor and showcase our game in London is something our entire organization is thrilled to be a part of,” said New York Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner. “Bringing these storied teams together for British fans — who have such a profound appreciation for sports at the highest level — only adds to the unique allure of one of the world’s greatest sporting rivalries. We expect an exciting and intense pair of games and appreciate the significance of representing our sport in such a meaningful way.”
“As a venue, we are immensely proud to be hosting MLB’s London Series at London Stadium in 2019,” said Graham Gilmore, CEO of London Stadium 185. “London Stadium has a track record of successfully delivering major global events, moving from Premier League Football and both international and domestic showpiece rugby fixtures to hosting some of the biggest names in music. We look forward to welcoming MLB, teams and fans to London Stadium for the first year of what we hope to be a fruitful, long term partnership.”
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