Coming up next, baseball in Germany? France? Spain?
The Red Sox and Yankees were behind MLB’s push to play baseball in London, but that won’t stop the league from reaching farther across Europe as it looks to expand in future years, commissioner Rob Manfred said during a press conference before the first game of the London Series kicked off on Saturday afternoon.
“My own view is that I would like to have sustained play in Europe,” he said. “I’m thrilled to be in London. I’m glad to be coming back next year (with the Cubs and Cardinals). But I’m also interested in playing in other cities in Europe. That will have to be worked out with the MLB PA.”
Manfred wouldn’t say which cities MLB has its eye on, particularly because it’s so difficult to find stadiums capable of hosting a baseball game. The game in London took so long to develop particularly because it was hard to find a suitable playing field. They ultimately settled on the London Stadium that was used during the Olympics and is now home to English Premier League team West Ham United.
“I think obviously playing in Europe presents some challenges that the NFL doesn’t have,” Manfred said. “It’s a lot easier for them to play inside soccer/football stadiums. It’s virtually impossible for us.”
But if the players association agrees to continue European expansion, MLB is all for it.