Back in 2016, we asked questions of what, when and how Major League Baseball could work in the United Kingdom. In January 2017, John wrote how he doesn’t think the Red Sox and Yankees should be the first two in town if they did come over (Gulp). In March 2017, we had London Mayor Sadiq Khan reaffirming his desire for baseball to be played in London in the near future. Then in July of 2017 we saw the new Collective Bargaining Agreement confirm that games would be played all around the world including London in 2019/2020. March 10th of this year, we had head of MLB UK Charlie Hill on the podcast to talk all about his desire to have games in London for 2019 and onwards. Finally on March 20th 2018, we had the Bloomberg article telling us that the Red Sox and Yankees are rumoured to be coming to the UK in 2019.
Well, it’s been a long and exciting two years and if reports are true we are almost there. ESPN released a tweet today saying this:
The Red Sox-Yankees rivalry is going global.
A source tells the AP they will play two games at London's Olympic Stadium in June 2019, which will be the first MLB regular-season games in Europe. pic.twitter.com/GWDd960ZtB
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 3, 2018
They then followed it up with a story on their website. Here are some of the main points:
- Games are expected to be played on 29th & 30th June
- Matchups will be Yankees @ Red Sox (This sees the Red Sox at “home”)
- Sadiq Khan has scheduled a press conference on Tuesday with Commissioner Rob Manfred, but there is no subject listed
- London’s Olympic Stadium will be the venue – This ties in with the earlier reports from the BBC that the cricket World Cup (The dates for this clash with this series) will not be using the Olympic Stadium.
- Each player will receive $60,000 for participating, as per the CBA
Aaron Boone was quote prior to the start of tonight’s games as saying
I’ve never been to London, so I’m looking forward to that, but it’s a long ways off. But hopefully it’s something that’s good for our game, can grow our game. We’re obviously, hopefully, getting two good teams out there, [and that] will be a great thing for this sport.
If the rumours and reports are true, it really will be a great thing for this sport. The prospect of watching Chris Sale, Luis Severino, Aaron Judge, Mookie Betts, Giancarlo Stanton, Xander Bogaerts and many more is already making us at BFN salivate.
Needless to say, we will do our best to keep you informed and updated of any new developments.