Reporter Kim Joo-hee = This year’s Major League Baseball (MLB) game will be held outside the United States. It is expected to restart the’globalization of baseball’, which has been tied up due to Corona 19, and aim to expand the base.
The MLB Secretariat confirmed and announced the schedule for the 2023 season on the 1st (Korean time).
Overseas series that disappeared due to the aftermath of Corona 19 also reappeared on the schedule.
Ha-seong Kim’s team, the San Diego Padres and the San Francisco Giants, will face off in Mexico City, Mexico, from April 30 to May 1. This is the first time an MLB regular season game has been held in Mexico City.
The St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs will play a two-game series on June 25-26 in London, England.
It is the second time since 2019 that an MLB regular season game will be held in England. A London series was planned for 2020, but was canceled due to COVID-19.
Of the 30 MLB teams, 29 are based in the United States, and the other team, the Toronto Blue Jays, is based in Canada.
It is not a simple one-time event for the MLB Secretariat to play games in various places around the world far away from each club’s hometown.
It is a move with the goal of reaching more fans and expanding the realm of baseball.
Even in MLB, one of the most popular sports in the United States, the ‘crisis of baseball’ is not someone else’s business.
It is evaluated that the MLB market in the United States has already reached saturation. Rules are also being introduced to speed up the process to catch spectators leaving during the sluggish game time, but it has not prevented the decrease in spectators.
In fact, baseball is not a universal sport. There are only a handful of countries that have professional leagues, including the United States, Korea, and Japan. Compared to other ball games, entry barriers such as equipment and venues are high.
They are not invited to the Olympics, a festival of people around the world. Baseball was revived at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, 12 years after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but was kicked out again at the 2026 Paris Olympics.
The World Baseball Classic (WBC), a national competition led by the MLB Secretariat, is also not enough to attract the attention of the world. It is also greatly compared to the world’s enthusiasm for the soccer World Cup.
However, as much as it cannot be stopped here, MLB is turning its eyes to overseas markets to develop a new path.
The investment by the MLB Secretariat to secure a global fan base is also unstoppable. The view of the baseball world is that even if you look at the attempt to play a game in Europe, where baseball is not universal, you can get a glimpse of MLB’s will to challenge.
When the London Series was held for the first time in 2019, the Secretariat also transformed the home stadium of West Ham United, an English professional soccer Premier League soccer team, into a baseball field for a game in London where there is no international standard baseball field.
He also put a lot of effort into matchup selection.
The match between the ‘traditional rivals’ New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox was organized in the London series at the time. The meeting between the two world-famous teams drew great attention, and it was a box office success, attracting 120,000 spectators for two days.
I have an expectation that the seeds sown in this way will return to the popularity of baseball.
MLB’s challenge to overseas has already been in the past.
The first time MLB implemented an overseas series dates back to 1996. In August of that year, the New York Mets and San Diego played a three-game series in Monterrey, Mexico. Monterrey also hosted MLB regular season games in April 1999 and May 2018.
Japan, where the professional baseball league is active, is also a regular overseas venue for major leaguers. 토토사이트
The match between the New York Mets and the Cubs in Tokyo Dome in Japan in March 2000 drew 55,000 spectators. In 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2019, the major leagues played in Japan. In particular, the opening game between the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics at the Tokyo Dome in 2019 was also played as a retirement match for ‘Legend’ Ichiro Suzuki.
In addition, he played big league games in Sydney, Australia in 2014 and San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2001, 2010 and 2018.
MLB’s market development continues. It seems that they are expanding their attempts to enter Europe, which is a wasteland beyond areas where baseball is active, such as Japan and Mexico.
When MLB signed a new labor-management agreement in March of last year, it also agreed on the contents of overseas games.
According to the agreement, next year, the Asian Opening Day, London and Mexico City will be played. In 2025, matches will be held in Tokyo, Japan, Mexico City and San Juan, as well as in Paris, France. In Paris, where baseball is not as familiar as in England, it plans to secure new fans by promoting the appeal of MLB.