Major League Baseball to return to London with regular season games in 2023

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Major League Baseball to return to London with regular season games in 2023

Major League Baseball matches will return to London next year as part of a long-term strategic partnership between the organisation and the Engli

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Major League Baseball matches will return to London next year as part of a long-term strategic partnership between the organisation and the English capital. 

MLB made its debut in the UK, and indeed in Europe, when the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees faced off in two games at the London Stadium in 2019. 

The 66,000-seater arena was also due to host two matches between the St Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs in 2020 but these had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Major League Baseball has announced a new long-term strategic partnership with London

Major League Baseball has announced a new long-term strategic partnership with London

Major League Baseball has announced a new long-term strategic partnership with London

Sadiq Khan said he wants to 'grow the number of Londoners watching and playing baseball'

Sadiq Khan said he wants to 'grow the number of Londoners watching and playing baseball'

Sadiq Khan said he wants to ‘grow the number of Londoners watching and playing baseball’

Included in Monday’s announcement was a commitment from MLB to hold major events in London over the next five years including regular season games in 2023, 2024 and 2026. 

Confirmation of the new partnership comes as part of London mayor Sadiq Khan’s five-day trip to the USA. 

‘I know we are going to top the Yankees and the Red Sox next summer when we announce our teams and the dates,’ MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said. ‘All aspects of the inaugural MLB games in London were an overwhelming success. 

‘It was clear that sports fans in London had a great appetite for baseball and that passion was shared by Mayor Khan as well as the business and media community. 

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred revealed he would 'love' to have a MLB team based in London

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred revealed he would 'love' to have a MLB team based in London

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred revealed he would ‘love’ to have a MLB team based in London

MLB made its debut in Europe with two games hosted at the London Stadium three years ago

MLB made its debut in Europe with two games hosted at the London Stadium three years ago

MLB made its debut in Europe with two games hosted at the London Stadium three years ago

‘We are confident in making a long-term commitment to London and are looking forward to returning to the city with more MLB games, special fan events, and other opportunities to play and watch the game.’

‘Today is an historic day for London and baseball,’ Khan added. ‘I want to continue attracting world-class sport to our city as part of my mission to make London the sporting capital of the world. 

‘This long-term partnership with Major League Baseball is ambitious and includes regular season games as well as a legacy program designed to grow the number of Londoners watching and playing baseball at a grassroots level in London.’

It is understood that the Cardinals and Cubs are the leading candidates to play in London in 2023 following their postponed fixtures two years ago. 

The Chicago Cubs and St Louis Cardinals are leading candidates to play in London next year

The Chicago Cubs and St Louis Cardinals are leading candidates to play in London next year

The Chicago Cubs and St Louis Cardinals are leading candidates to play in London next year

This summer, Crystal Palace Park will host Home Run Derby X, which is described as ‘an electrifying new baseball format’ and is one of several events planned in London designed to increase engagement in the sport. 

Meanwhile, Manfred revealed that he would ‘love’ to have a MLB team based in the English capital on a permanent basis. 

‘It’s not a travel impossibility, it’s not out of the question’, the league’s commissioner said.  

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