The NFL may not be the only American sports franchise traveling to London for much longer. The Telegraph’s Ben Rumsby reported yesterday that the Mets’ Fred Wilpon was “very receptive” to making history as the first MLB team to play in Europe after speaking with London mayor Sadiq Khan during his trip to the states.
In November, the Olympic Stadium in London began undergoing renovations to turn the former Olympic site into a baseball venue. According to the operators of the stadium, the London landmark has the perfect dimensions for America’s pastime.
Several MLB matches have been staged outside the United States, including in growing baseball hotspots like Japan, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Though seemingly random compared to the other destinations, the idea of baseball in London is hardly new; MLB officials have expressed an interest in hosting games in the Olympic Stadium since March 2012.
Expanding American sports leagues in England has proved to be extremely profitable, following the success of the NFL’s international matches at Wembley Stadium and the NBA’s games at the O2 Arena. With the exception of the game in Cuba earlier this year, the most recent international game took place in Australia in 2014, when the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks in a series at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Will a Mets game in England allow the sport to grow in the land of cricket and rugby? Will it boost support for America’s game in the U.S.? In any event, it doesn’t seem like an opportunity that should be passed up.