London Series The Big Questions and Answers – Part 1

The London Series announcement answered some questions, but not all. We have decided to try and pick some of the major questions and see if we can answer them.

Timings

As much as this may disappoint some people, I feel it’s unlikely that Major League Baseball will be looking to play the game at 1pm UK time. If you’re not familiar, the East coast of the US is five hours behind, the West coast is eight hours behind. Which means a 1pm start would result in an 8am East coast start, 5am West coast.

I expect MLB to have the game start at around 7pm, which will probably cause some havoc if (when?) the games go into extras, meaning folk will be missing tubes, trains, buses, taxis etc. Which takes us nicely into…

Transport

Looking at the London Stadium on Google Maps, there are quite a few train stations and tube options nearby, so getting to the stadium shouldn’t be a problem. Getting home from the game on the 29th shouldn’t be too much of an issue, when it comes to Sunday 30th June, those late trains and tubes could be nonexistent if the game extends into the late hours.

If you own an Uber/Lyft driver account, then I suggest you camp outside the London Stadium on the 29th/30th June. You could be in for a pretty penny.

Weather

One question asked at the announcement was “What do we do if it rains?”. The Commissioner said he would “Pray” and then also made a mention that any rescheduling of games, would unfortunately mean they would be made up in the US.

So what are the chances it rains? Well, I decided to use a weather history website and check what the weather was on the week surrounding the 29th and 30th June for the last 10 years.

Here are the results:

  • 2017 – no rain, AVG 18°C
  • 2016 – no rain, AVG 17°C
  • 2015 – no rain, AVG 22°C
  • 2014 – no rain, AVG 19°C
  • 2013 – no rain, AVG 15°C
  • 2012 – no rain, AVG 18°C
  • 2011 – no rain, AVG 19°C
  • 2010 – no rain, AVG 22°C
  • 2009 – no rain, AVG 21°C
  • 2008 – no rain, AVG 18°C

I’m not saying it’s not going to rain, but the odds are stacked in our favour right now.

The Field

Bat Flips and Nerds twitter follower @clarkedp has already begun looking at the layout of the fields for the London Series, using existing MLB ballparks to try and utilise the space made available by the London Stadium.

Unsurprisingly the fields can fit, it’s likely MLB go with something “generic” rather than try to mimic an existing ballpark, like they did in Australia when utilising the Sydney Cricket Ground. Looking at the images, it means we will probably have large foul ball areas and seating directly beyond the outfield wall to close the gap between the outfield fences and the stands.

Ticket Pricing

In the Australian Series, the top tickets (Presumably behind home plate) were £280, 1st and 3rd baseline were £100, the outfield tickets were £55. These calculations were done after reading a blog post from the time (2014) and making the currency conversion now. So I can’t imagine the prices are that far off.

In a recent survey run by Bat Flips and Nerds, what did our fans say they would like to pay for the different parts of the ballpark mentioned?

The question was, what price do people think is fair, not what price do people think is likely. Unfortunately, I think the majority of folk are looking at this price list and expecting it to be similar to a regular season MLB game in the US. Where bleacher seats can be incredibly cheap. Remember, this is the first regular season game that is going to hit our shores. It’s unlikely MLB are going to charge £10-£25 for outfield seats. I’m happy to be wrong, but I doubt it.

Again, the pricing seems fair, but it’s unlikely. As we saw with the Australia series (Where cost of living is much lower), I would expect us in the UK to be charged over £70.

I’m disregarding the small slices in the red and orange, I think it is unreasonable to expect that sort of price in this series. Having over half of the results being between £41-£70 surprises me. I have looked at a few ticketing websites for seats behind home plate and there are some clubs (Marlins, Reds etc) who are within that price range. However, this is the Yankees @ Red Sox in London. I think the 44.5% of responders are correct. I also imagine you’re probably looking at putting a “2” in between the £ and the 7 in £70.

Conclusion

Major League Baseball is coming to London. I’ll say that again Major League Baseball is coming to London. There are exciting times ahead, not only for us baseball fans but for our friends and family that we may turn into baseball fans thanks to this series. We’ll continue to report on the updates on the London Series as they come out.

The post you have just read however, is pure speculation, I do not have any more information than anyone who has watched the announcement. What I have tried to do is research, use facts and then compile the results and present them to you. I hope this was of some use.

In the meantime, let us continue to speculate, ask questions and most importantly, get excited.

One comment

  1. The spectacle of the event should be front of mind for any thinking about this fantastic series in London. For Sydney the 2014 MLB Opening Series generated about four times the expected revenue for Sydney / New South Wales, so such a target / key objective for London will be a big motivator for local business and politicians. What we didn’t see follow on in Australia was a spike in Australian Baseball League attendances or any notable increase with participation in local baseball leagues. It introduced people to the sport / MLB, yet I for one was surprised how quickly general sports fans moved on to the next sporting spectacle, and didn’t seem to give baseball too much more thought. Given the size of the media and population in the United Kingdom, it’s possible the local press will provide greater coverage and perhaps more hearts and minds will be won in the UK.

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