|Courtesy: New York Yankees.|
The Yankees and Boston Red Sox will play an historic two-game series in London in 2019, marking the first time Major League Baseball has played games in Europe, in the MLB London Series.
The announcement was made on Tuesday afternoon in London, and Yankees and Red Sox ownership were in attendance.
The Yankees were represented by Managing General Partner/Co-Chairperson Hal Steinbrenner and General Partner/Vice Chairperson Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal; and Red Sox Principal Owner John W. Henry represented Boston.
This comes on a day that the Yankees and Red Sox will be starting a three-game series tonight at Yankee Stadium with each team holding the best two records in Major League Baseball.
The Red Sox, who have won the American League East the last two years, started off 17-2 and are now 25-9, while the Yankees came within one win of last year's World Series, and they are red hot, having won 15 of their last 16 games to run their record to 24-10.
The 2019 London Series will be played on June 29-30 at London Stadium, the site of the 2012 Olympic Games and the home of West Ham United of the English Premier League.
London Stadium will will take on a baseball configuration for the event, and the estimated capacity of the facility for the series will be 55,000.
The parties have agreed to a two-year deal that will include another series in London in 2020, with participating teams to be announced, and other initiatives that will aim to establish a footprint in the city.
“To have the opportunity to participate in this historic baseball endeavor and showcase our game in London is something our entire organization is thrilled to be a part of," Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner said. "Bringing these storied teams together for British fans — who have such a profound appreciation for sports at the highest level — only adds to the unique allure of one of the world's greatest sporting rivalries. We expect an exciting and intense pair of games and appreciate the significance of representing our sport in such a meaningful way.”
Boston Red Sox Principal Owner John W. Henry said, “For several years the Red Sox and Yankees have discussed playing in London as the first-ever Major League Baseball regular season game in Europe. It’s also the first time the Red Sox and Yankees have played one another outside of New York or Boston. There were significant challenges that had to be overcome. We could not be happier that Commissioner Manfred has been able to make this a reality. This series will surely be the most significant international event to date for Major League ball. I can’t wait to hear someone shout ‘play ball’ at London Stadium.”
The Yankees and Red Sox are a natural to play in these game, not only to bring their historic rivalry there, but because both teams have have ties to English Premier League soccer clubs.
The Yankees jointly own New York City Football Club with Manchester City, who just won the English Premier League title, while the Red Sox own Liverpool FC, who will be taking on Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League Final on May 26.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr.; Tim Slavin, Chief of Business Affairs and Senior Counsel, Business for the MLBPA; and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan were on hand for the press conference.
MLB Commissioner Manfred said, “Major League Baseball is excited to be bringing one of the most storied rivalries in sports to the passionate fans of London. In our ongoing efforts to grow baseball, there is nothing as impactful as bringing live games and our talented players to fans. This is our most significant endeavor ever in Europe and we look forward to showcasing Major League Baseball in one of the world’s great cities.”
The United Kingdom will follow other international venues that have hosted regular season Major League games, joining Mexico, Japan, Puerto Rico and Australia.
Tony Clark, Executive Director of the MLBPA, said, “Some of the most talented and dynamic players in the world will be playing in these games. They are excited about the chance to meet new fans, and showcase the game they love. They are aware they’ll be a part of history, but they also know these games count. So fans can expect intense competition during what will surely be a great few days in London.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said, “I am absolutely delighted that we have secured this historic agreement for Major League Baseball to come to London in 2019 and 2020. All the hard work has paid off. There is no better way to start the London Series and the first Major League Baseball fixture in Europe than a clash between two heavyweights of international sport – the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. This is a major coup demonstrating, once again, that London is the sporting capital of the world and I am excited about a new partnership with MLB and the long term future of this sport in our great city.”
Graham Gilmore, CEO of London Stadium 185, said: “As a venue, we are immensely proud to be hosting MLB’s London Series at London Stadium in 2019. London Stadium has a track record of successfully delivering major global events, moving from Premier League Football and both international and domestic showpiece rugby fixtures to hosting some of the biggest names in music. We look forward to welcoming MLB, teams and fans to London Stadium for the first year of what we hope to be a fruitful, long term partnership.”
Fans can stay up to date on all news regarding the 2019 MLB London Series by following @MLBLondonSeries on Instagram and Facebook and
can pre-register for MLB London Series tickets at: