After a blistering three-day weekend that saw a sold out London Stadium packed to capacity, Major League Baseball’s first foray into European territory was largely a huge success, for a few reasons.
The league’s decision to host London Yards at Truman Brewery, a complementary three-day festival dedicated to all things baseball, was a no-brainer. When tickets for the historic Boston Red Sox vs New York Yankees series went on sale in December, a full six months before the games, every single seat was snapped up in less than 45 minutes. Once you take into account the stadium’s 60,000 seat capacity, that’s a dizzying amount of spectators to accommodate.
So, London Yards served as the primary battleground for baseball fans far and wide to come learn about the sport while indulging in dishes inspired by the culinary heritage of Boston and New York, and picking up exclusive, limited product from New Era, ’47, and Champion. But the best idea they had was to offer free, live-streaming of both games, something Brits who couldn’t score tickets were surely appreciative of.
Fun activations like the ‘Spin Cycle’ cage challenged fans to throw like a pro and test their speed and accuracy against a trio of washing machines while a new immersive virtual reality Home Run Derby experience transported players right to the field.
In all, spectators from over 44 states in the US and more than 27 countries made their way to London for the inaugural series, proving that baseball’s popularity in the UK isn’t as farfetched as one might think.
If you missed out this year, MLB has already announced its London Series 2020 lineup featuring another iconic baseball rivalry—the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs will face off next June at London Stadium.