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Saturday, May 18, 2024

MLB Considers Hosting Games in Germany, Netherlands 

  • The league views its London series as a gateway into other European markets.
  • Germany hosted its first regular season NFL game last year.
MLB views London as a gateway to other European markets.
Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

As MLB prepares to return to London for a two-game series this weekend, Germany and the Netherlands are being viewed as potential destinations for future games as the league seeks to further its presence across Europe.  

“We want to hit our priority markets, but we may rotate around to a Germany in the long run or if there’s a facility in the Netherlands that we could potentially look at,” Chris Marinak, MLB’s chief operations and strategy officer, told The Associated Press. “But for the medium term, we’re really focused on the UK as our primary vehicle.”

The Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals will play Friday and Saturday at London Stadium, which hosted MLB’s European debut in 2019 when the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox played in front of a sellout crowd of nearly 60,000 fans. 

MLB held two games earlier this season in Mexico City between the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres. Paris is considered a favorite to host MLB games next season, the league’s first in France. The league is scheduled to return to London in 2026.

The AP reports that Britain is MLB’s biggest market in Europe regarding broadcast revenue, merchandise sales, and subscribers to digital products. Still, it remains behind Mexico, Japan, South Korea, China, and Australia. MLB signed a five-year U.K. broadcast deal with the BBC last year. 

“We feel like the U.K. offers us a good model for growth in the Europe market,” Marinak said.

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