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Major League Baseball: London Calling?

Major League Baseball: London Calling?
Great Britain in the World Baseball Classic. Photo: wbsc.org

The National Football League claims the league does not make any money playing games in London, England. The National Hockey League has seemingly abandoned London as a place to do business. The National Basketball Association is trying to develop some sort of following in the city and does schedule an annual game in London. This season that game will take place on January 12, 2017 with Denver and Indianapolis playing.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred is now talking up a game or two – or maybe three – in London in 2018. There seems to be a fascination to play North American sports in London, despite the competition which starts with something called the English Premiereship with five teams in the London area and 13 professional football or soccer teams in London.

There does not seem to be very much interest in baseball in an area where it is hardly played.

Major League Baseball has been looking at the European continent for a while as a place to hold games. When flying in and out of Amsterdam’s airport there are baseball diamonds in sight and there is legitimate interest in baseball.

The game has been played in The Netherlands since 1911 and there is a modern ball park located near Amsterdam and there was some hope that Major League Baseball would send two teams over in either 2014 or 2015 to play a few regular season games. But that never happened.

The Netherlands happens to field very competitive international baseball team but apparently Major League Baseball does not feel that Amsterdam is game worthy. Additionally, no one knows how the separation of the United Kingdom from the European Union will pan out and the pound has been much lower in value since UK voters opted to end ties with the European Union.

Still, Major League Baseball is interested in London, a place where there is not much baseball interest.

By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business

This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.


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