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Thursday, November 17, 2022

LONDON SERIES 2023: Ticket News Announcement – Bat Flips and Nerds

The games are June 24th and 25th. Cards vs. Cubs. Now I just need to get my wife to sign off on a trip to London.

Drum roll… we have ticket sales dates for the 2023 games.

Pre-registered sales: 10:00 am, Wednesday 30th November
General sales: 10:00 am, Tuesday 6th December
Time is running out to register with MLB to get pre-sales access. Click on the link below. Don’t miss out.

jimfurtado Posted: November 17, 2022 at 10:41 AM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cardinals, cubs

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: November 17, 2022 at 01:08 PM (#6105928)
Speaking of the excitement of international MLB, have Red Sox fans finished celebrating their victory in the first HRDX yet?
   2. The Duke Posted: November 17, 2022 at 03:53 PM (#6105962)
The major leagues should really rethink their geographic strategy. They could easily put 3 teams in London and 3 teams in Tokyo and exit the low end markets here: Oakland, Tampa, KC, Mil, Pittsburgh, baltimore, MN, Miami Detroit, cincy.

The sweet spot would be three teams in each city and move teams out of those markets above. It would immediately end a lot of revenue sharing issues, competitiveness issues and would jack up salaries for the union all without increasing the number of teams and diluting MLB revenue intake for the 30 teams

Traveling is not impossible. Make each series 4 games. Teams go on a 12 day road trip (plus a travel day on either side). London and Tokyo would get something like 24 days at home before going on the road. You might need to bring back unbalanced scheduling to prevent too many teams a year having to make the trip. I've never understood why they don't do this - Tokyo is made for it with its built in fanbase and there are so many Americans in London, Amsterdam, Paris that they'd have no trouble filling up those stadiums until the locals get into it.

If Japan works out, Korea next. If London works, Paris next.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: November 17, 2022 at 06:37 PM (#6105977)
You greatly over-estimate the number of Americans that have moved abroad. The UK Census estimates there are 200,000 UK residents born in the US. Those aren't all permanent residents. You can add 120,000 Canadians if you want. Good luck filling three(!) baseball stadiums in London, especially when home stands overlap (as they obviously would have to).

We're used to you not thinking things through and not taking even a few seconds to look up information but this one's a real doozy.

Japan would be a different story since they (apparently) already draw 30,000 a game. It would probably destroy the NPB though. KBO teams apparently average about 10,000 per game but with 3 teams in Seoul you probably could sell out their 25,000-seat stadium.
   4. The Duke Posted: November 17, 2022 at 08:21 PM (#6105988)
Did I say living in London? No I did not.

There's about 3 million visitors to london from Us/Canada every year. There are way more than 200k permanent US residents in London. I'm assuming your number is Americans who have actually picked up stakes and moved there, obtained citizenship etc. seems light to me. I myself know about 10 people who have done that and I'm not that well-connected, but I worked in banking and it's a bit of a thing for bankers. I lived in Kensington for six years and there's easily tens of thousands US expats just in that area alone - I'm guessing they don't count as they aren't UK citizens (although I paid into the treasury ! - I should have counted )

Most of those visitors will come in the summer and have lots of disposable income.

On any given day in London during the baseball season there are probably thousands of people in town visiting banks. All looking for something to do at night. In my experience, bankers are avid baseball fans. It was the number one thing I did in Atlanta when one of my banks would come to visit.

Finally, I didn't mean every seat would be filled by Americans but it woikd create a big baseline. Certainly will fill more seats on an average game than Oakland or Miami or Tampa.

Here's a quote. I found roughly this number on my first four google searches - hopefully it passes your high bar for backup.

"Data shows that a record 3.5 million visitors traveled from the U.S. to the U.K. between January and September 2019. That is an increase of 13 percent from the same period in 2018. Visitors from the U.S. also spent a record £3.4 billion." I'm sure the pandemic has narrowed that to say.....2.5 million.
   5. The Duke Posted: November 17, 2022 at 08:26 PM (#6105990)
I would also add that the number of hometown fans who will make the journey to see their team in London (not as much Tokyo) will be very large. It's would be a great destination trip if you are a baseball fan. Tower of London by day and the Cards-cubs at night. Huge draw
   6. cardsfanboy Posted: November 17, 2022 at 08:36 PM (#6105992)
You would almost need a two year advance notice to make that a destination trip for many people. Making the assumption that you choose one travel trip a year, and you plan it in advance.
   7. Howie Menckel Posted: November 17, 2022 at 08:54 PM (#6105995)
not to pile on, but - who plays for these teams?

anyone who thinks that London's remarkable breadth of culture and history will be catnip for American MLB players has never been inside a clubhouse, with all the farting, towel-snapping, and other sophomoric hijinks. the only "culture" many of these guys know is when they get tested for an STD.

good luck filling out a roster!

or do they have good strip joints over there? that would help, but cities like Houston and Atlanta surely have better ones.

of course, there are family men in MLB, too - and they won't likely want to uproot those families in most cases.
   8. The Duke Posted: November 17, 2022 at 09:56 PM (#6106006)
6. I don't know anyone (other than you ) who needs a two year advance notice to book a trip to London. My brother still uses what is apparently the last travel agent in the world, so maybe there's more than just you.

As to who will play there, I could be wrong but everyone under six years of service will want to play there ( I think you can guess why) and everyone making millions of dollars per year. That would account for all MLB players. Have you ever been to London, it's an awesome place to live? Let's see ---- london or Kansas City, london or Kansas City.......hmmmm that's a tough one.

Adam wainwrights family lives near me and he plays in STL every year - why would you expect this logic not apply to players families who play in London ? It's 81 games a year
   9. cardsfanboy Posted: November 17, 2022 at 10:14 PM (#6106009)
6. I don't know anyone (other than you ) who needs a two year advance notice to book a trip to London. My brother still uses what is apparently the last travel agent in the world, so maybe there's more than just you.


You probably know a bunch of rich people then(and not talking two years to book, talking about choosing a time to go... people don't just say "Hey it's Friday in July, how about we go to Britain to see a baseball game next week... because we have nothing to do." , generally everyone I know who takes a world wide trip plans it a year in advance, and comes up with the idea even longer before that, they can make adjustments (had a girl from work that had to change her trip to France three times in the past two years for various reasons, but she knew where she was going long before she made the plans, just figured out when it was going to be) most everyone else I know who travels abroad, if it's not south of the U.S. they plan it well in advance.

I just don't think it's common for average people to do a European trip on a whim. Or an Asian trip. Or Indian, generally these things are pretty big deals, and would interfere with other plans so planning in advance seems like part of most peoples concept. I plan in advance to go to the baseball writers dinner every year, I know this is a thing and it's going to happen.(and this is only a $300 expense, we lock in other events, and still have room to make adjustments like going to Cooperstown for Ted Simmons induction (didn't happen for various reasons, but we were able to make that decision with 8 months advance notice) I just don't see people planning their vacation around a baseball game without significant notice as there were probably already a dozen other factors in play on the time that they were planning.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: November 17, 2022 at 10:43 PM (#6106012)
There's about 3 million visitors to london from Us/Canada every year. There are way more than 200k permanent US residents in London. I'm assuming your number is Americans who have actually picked up stakes and moved there, obtained citizenship etc. seems light to me.

NO the NUMBER OF PEOPLE RESIDENT IN A PRIVATE HOUSEHOLD IN THE UK -- born in the US is about 200,000 people. See the ONS's Annual population survey or the UK Census. (The 200,000 does not include people in hotels.)

There are only about 10 million non-UK-born residents in the UK and those are nearly all Ireland, Scotland, EU, Commonwealth, Africa, etc. It is not easy at all for a US citizen to migrate permanently to the UK (or most anywhere else you might want to live). Other than US territories (I assume), I'm not aware of US citizens having the right to work in any foreign country (unlike most obviously the EU and less obviously Aus-NZ). There are not many Americans that want to live abroad (there aren't that many Americans with passports) and those that do have to go through formal work visa programs and of course those spots are limited and frequently set up to favor historical country ties (coloial, the Commonwealth, etc.). Most Americans will be living abroad (in other Western countries) via a skilled migran program which are highly restrictive. Obviously many are abroad for 6 months to 2-3 years on a temprary work arrangement but these would be counted in most of the stats cited above.

I know some of this from personal experience of course. Largely due to age (early 40s), I had no shot at the UK, maybe could have squeaked into Oz, had no chance at Canada (didn't want to go anyway), NZ I scraped by but would not have in another couple of years. I don't recall but I probably would have had a shot at the UK if I'd been 10 years younger.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emigration_from_the_United_States for a summary although the page is pretty badly out of date.

Amsterdam metro has a population around 2.5 M, just how many do you think are US-born? Annual immmigration to France from all of the Americas and Oceania is about 30,000 per year. Germany estimates its US-born population to be about 120,000. They estimate they have twice as many Kosovars and 7 times as many Syrians.

For those that don't know, the term "permanent" in migration statistics generally means "migrating with the intent of staying longer than 12 months."

Tourism numbers are nearly meaningless for baseball attendance but have at it. Do you think 4 M US visitors will all visit during the summer, each attend a baseball game while there, spread across your 3 London teams? How much do you think local TV rights will go for? Where are you building your 3 baseball stadiums each holding at least 40,000? Is the government building them for you?
   11. The Duke Posted: November 17, 2022 at 11:12 PM (#6106021)
200k it is - they must have all been living in the Kensington - Chelsea borough near me.

The visa process as an expat doesn't exist for the individual. All of us who were there had someone in HR process all of it. I don't remember being involved at all. The hardest thing to do was opening a bank account as I recall. It took several letters from my U.K. boss to nat west (dating myself for sure ) and a formal interview with some guy at the Kensington branch to get one. I worked for a U.S. company there and then left and came back and worked for a UK PLC as a local. I don't remember any paperwork for that either and since I kept my bank account, no work there. But these big MNCs are good at this stuff - zero employee impact. I'm sure it's harder to do on one's own.

Fine, if you believe millions of American tourists with money and time won't go to a baseball game in the summer in London feel free. I guess they don't go to the Yankees and the Mets games either. One other thing I would say is that daily baseball in London would not be competing with any other big time sports. Tokyo - that's different. But like the negro leagues MLB would probably overtake the Japan leagues quickly as more of their best players moved to MLB.

As for the business model, there's absolutely no way that a biz model centered around Tokyo and London is a worse case than Oakland, Tampa or any of the other small market US teams. It's not an expansion - it's culling out the worst US markets and putting teams in much bigger markets and building out Europe and Asia over time. Just getting rid of the rev-share teams that need subsidies would be huge.

As to stadiums - there's plenty of stadiums that could support baseball. We used to have dual use baseball and football stadiums - I'm sure the soccer stadiums and cricket grounds could be used. They mostly sit empty.
   12. Howie Menckel Posted: November 17, 2022 at 11:48 PM (#6106023)
Have you ever been to London, it's an awesome place to live? Let's see ---- london or Kansas City, london or Kansas City.......hmmmm that's a tough one.

Adam wainwrights family lives near me and he plays in STL every year - why would you expect this logic not apply to players families who play in London ? It's 81 games a year


you're imposing your own lifestyle preferences (as well as most here) on the typical MLB player.
I guess you'd be shocked by how many of them would agree that, indeed, it's not "a tough one" - it's KC by a mile. great BBQ!

and traveling from Georgia to Missouri occasionally during the season - you think that's the same as going from one of those places to London, especially for families with young kids?
   13. The Duke Posted: November 18, 2022 at 12:11 AM (#6106027)
I don't really know how many players actually live in their home city but I assume it's very small. Wainwright doesn't typically get back to st simons island (unless he has covid or is hurt ). No player does - when you are gone you are gone. I watch games every day and family members attending is a pretty rare occurrence. Kids are busy doing things in the summer.

it's clearly not really a hard choice on whether you want to play in KC or Pittsburgh or Oakland or Cincinnati or london no matter how much you protest otherwise. Tokyo is a different story. I could see that being much harder but while that issue is tougher, other issues (like a built in fanbase) are easier. And most of the players are indentured servants anyhow.

But putting that aside because it really doesn't matter. We are talking About exiting teams that are perennially averaging less than 15-20k fans per game, in at least five of the cases, much less than that. You don't need a crazy biz model to justify this - Tokyo is a slam dunk to beat that. London is a bit harder but I'm guessing they'd clear that bar pretty easily within a year or two if not right away.

Then you have the massive merchandising opportunity and new TV markets over time.

What's missing is a complete lack of imagination from the owners to pursue this - they are wedded to precedent in these old US cities. What's required is 2-4 of them to get together and leave in the dead of night like the Giants and Dodgers and force the issue absent an actual plan by the league. I'd start first in London because travel is much easier and then figure out Tokyo.
   14. Howie Menckel Posted: November 18, 2022 at 01:26 AM (#6106038)
it's clearly not really a hard choice on whether you want to play in KC or Pittsburgh or Oakland or Cincinnati or london no matter how much you protest otherwise.

well, I'm not "protesting" anything.

and I know a bit about more about athletes than you do, just as you know more about other things.

for instance, I would say that the NHL could put teams all over Europe and have a shot. not only would each team have some homegrown talent, many star players from the region would not only have been to London previously, but have loved it. they would be willing to play there.

you just have a blind spot about MLB players and their sensibilities. think about the backgrounds of most MLB players vs most NHL players, and that might shed a little light for you.
   15. vortex of dissipation Posted: November 18, 2022 at 03:01 PM (#6106093)
There are only about 10 million non-UK-born residents in the UK and those are nearly all Ireland, Scotland, EU, Commonwealth, Africa, etc.


Scotland is (as of now, anyway) part of the UK.
   16. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 18, 2022 at 06:49 PM (#6106120)
200k it is - they must have all been living in the Kensington - Chelsea borough near me.

I lived in the South Kensington/Chelsea neighborhood for 3 years, and yes, it felt like most of the American expats in London lived around there.

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