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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Bud Selig expects MLB regular season games in Europe soon

Outgoing Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig hopes to announce plans for regular season games in Europe before he leaves office, according to multiple reports.

The league has its eye on London and Amsterdam as potential hosts, Eric Fisher of SportsBusiness Journal tweeted. Of the two sites, Selig believes Amsterdam is “more prepared” to host games as soon as 2015, per Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi.

Gamingboy Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:08 PM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: europe, international

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   1. TerpNats Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4770388)
Any thoughts on participating teams? I would guess it would be one of the AL East "evil empires" (Yanks/Bosox) vs. a team with less appeal, probably within the division (Toronto or Tampa Bay, this means you).
   2. BDC Posted: August 13, 2014 at 03:58 PM (#4770390)
Dress the Rangers in Dallas Cowboys uniforms and the games will sell out.
   3. Greg K Posted: August 13, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4770407)
Any thoughts on participating teams? I would guess it would be one of the AL East "evil empires" (Yanks/Bosox) vs. a team with less appeal, probably within the division (Toronto or Tampa Bay, this means you).

For what it's worth the most popular MLB team within the Nottingham baseball club is the Jays. Though that's because there are a handful of Dominicans who like the current Bautista/Reyes/Melky/Edwin gang on the team. Probably a tad unrepresentative of the nation's baseball fans as a whole.

Finding a place to play in the UK may be a problem. The UK just opened Farnham Park in Slough which is really the only purpose-built baseball field in the country. But as far as I know there isn't really any infrastructure for fans to actually sit and watch.

Presumably it would entail converting a cricket ground a la Australia?
   4. Greg K Posted: August 13, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4770411)
As far as other places in Europe, the Armin-Wolf Arena in Regensburg added stands to get their capacity up to 10,000 for the 2013 WBC. But I'd have to assume if an official MLB game came to Europe in the near future it would have to be the Dutch.
   5. Swedish Chef Posted: August 13, 2014 at 04:23 PM (#4770413)
Presumably it would entail converting a cricket ground a la Australia?

Hmmm, does a football field + running track work sizewise?
   6. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 13, 2014 at 04:29 PM (#4770418)
Would MLB consider jerry-rigging some non-baseball but high-capacity facility, not unlike the Dodgers in the LA Coliseum with its 251 foot left field protected by a high fence? I think the time has passed where you can do that, but not really sure.
   7. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: August 13, 2014 at 04:30 PM (#4770420)
Hmmm, does a football field + running track work sizewise?


sort of
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 04:32 PM (#4770424)
I would think the Twins make sense, as Rik Aalbert Blyleven can head home.
   9. Greg K Posted: August 13, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4770426)
Hmmm, does a football field + running track work sizewise?

I found this newsreel of a baseball game at Old Wembley in London between Canadians and Americans during the Second World War. Tough to tell, it looks a bit cramped down the lines...but who knows?

I suppose if there have been talks about London it would be converting either Wembley or a cricket ground?

[EDIT: and of course, Canada won]
   10. Greg K Posted: August 13, 2014 at 04:43 PM (#4770433)
   11. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 13, 2014 at 05:02 PM (#4770452)
I would guess it would be one of the AL East "evil empires" (Yanks/Bosox) vs. a team with less appeal, probably within the division (Toronto or Tampa Bay, this means you).

I doubt it will be the Yankees or Red Sox. No way they'd give up home games, and it's highly unlikely a rival would want to give up home games against either of those teams, either.
   12. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 13, 2014 at 05:18 PM (#4770463)
Europe makes a hell of a lot more sense than Asia. The travel (assuming Eastern teams) is not meaningfully different than a cross-country trip so it should not be nearly the logistical headache the Japanese games have been.
   13. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: August 13, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4770476)
Europe makes a hell of a lot more sense than Asia.


I'd rather see games in PR, the Dominican and South America first. You know, places that have baseball fans.
   14. pthomas Posted: August 13, 2014 at 06:02 PM (#4770498)
I hope someday we can see a Dodger game on Direct TV...I can only dream.
   15. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 13, 2014 at 06:06 PM (#4770502)
If MLB sends the Giants to Amsterdam, we're never getting Tim Lincecum back.
   16. Bhaakon Posted: August 13, 2014 at 07:46 PM (#4770574)
I'd rather see games in PR, the Dominican and South America first. You know, places that have baseball fans.


But not nearly as much money or room for growth, unfortunately.
   17. depletion Posted: August 13, 2014 at 09:39 PM (#4770677)
England has cricket and rounders and Sweden has Pekkola (or whatever the heck). But what similar sport does Netherlands have? I suppose London is the best choice, as I could see the wealthy crowd showing up to see something that is expensive and pointless.
   18. Stormy JE wanted to milk the soft power dividend Posted: August 13, 2014 at 09:47 PM (#4770680)
What's the point of having a game in London? The United Kingdom doesn't even participate in the WBC. At least in the Netherlands there's a modicum of interest in the sport.
   19. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 13, 2014 at 09:48 PM (#4770682)
I suppose London is the best choice, as I could see the wealthy crowd showing up to see something that is expensive and pointless.


Don't they already have the Spurs?
   20. Greg K Posted: August 13, 2014 at 10:45 PM (#4770720)
What's the point of having a game in London? The United Kingdom doesn't even participate in the WBC. At least in the Netherlands there's a modicum of interest in the sport.

Hey, I watched the British team participate in the WBC tournament in Germany!

Though they were mostly Americans with some kind of British descent. And from my experience fan interest in American sports in the UK goes
1) Football
2) Hockey (though of all the American sports hockey has by far the strongest domestic league in the UK)
3) Basketball
4) Baseball

EDIT: Though in answer to the actual question, I think the idea is (whether it's right or not, who knows) that a game will create fans where none existed before. It makes sense in the micro, pretty much every baseball fan I know in the UK became a fan because they went to a game in New York on vacation and loved it. I imagine they are trying to recreate that en masse. Again, no idea if this is an effective strategy...if it is I imagine it will only pay dividends in the long, long term.

It is an interesting question (or maybe it's only interesting to me as a large part of organizing a baseball club in England is figuring out how and where to find interested parties) - how do you crack a market like the UK where they already have a full load of traditional sports?

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