MLB to be played at the London Stadium in June 2019
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It has been announced that in June 2019 the Boston Red Sox will play two games against the New York Yankees, the first Major League baseball contest to be hosted in Europe. In a press conference, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced that the two giants from the MLB will compete in a two match regular season series. This deal with the London Stadium is said to be a long term agreement, with the MLB stating that they hope to create “a long term footprint in the city of London” Red Sox and Liverpool Football Club Principle Owner John Henry also spoke in the conference admitting that he couldn’t wait “to hear someone shout 'play ball' at London Stadium.” Since his election, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has set out to make London the sporting capital of the world, and the introduction of baseball to the city will act as a major stepping stone to achieving this. “Since I became Mayor, I have been determined to bring baseball to our city and I am really pleased we have been able to reach what is an historic agreement.” Khan said. Baseball isn’t the only American sport that has arrived on our shores in recent years, with American Football becoming increasingly popular as a result of the NFL’s deal with Wembley Stadium. From 2013 to 2016, the Jacksonville Jags played one of their 8 home games at Wembley Stadium, a deal inspiring the MLB to move into Europe. Due to the success of the Wembley contests, the NFL announced another deal that will see two of the Jags’ home games played at Tottenham Hotspurs new stadium in North London. The new stadium features a retractable pitch that will be specifically used for American Football. This move shows the commitment the NFL for a long term deal with London, and this is what baseball is looking to emulate. As a football ground the London Stadium holds a maximum of 66,000 spectators when West Ham United play their home games but the capacity for the two game baseball series will be 55,000 each day. Demand for tickets is extremely high with Red Sox owner John Henry suggesting that it may be difficult for locals to get tickets “due to the amount of Americans travelling over to watch”. If you want to register for pre-sale tickets then visit this website https://www.mlb.com/london-series to sign up.
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