MLB Heading Over the Pond in 2023, Bringing Back London Series

by Patrick Norton
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Major League Baseball is going transcontinental. The league announced the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs would meet in the London Series next season. Playing a two-game series in the country’s capital, both squads face off at London Stadium. Originally on the schedule in 2020 but axed for pandemic reasons, the series allows the league to continue its colonization of Europe for baseball purposes.

In a press release, Cardinals chairman and CEO William DeWitt Jr said, “The Cardinals are excited and honored to be a part of the London Series next year. The Cardinals-Cubs rivalry is one of the best in sports, and it will be exciting to bring it to Europe for a new audience to experience. I have no doubt that the passionate sports fans in London will love these games, and we look forward to creating some new Cardinals fans overseas.”

Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts added his own two cents with a similar statement. Ricketts said, “The MLB London Series between the Cubs and Cardinals has been in the works for years now, and we’re thrilled to finally be able to bring one of baseball’s biggest rivalries to fans abroad in 2023. We hope that this series not only excites and entertains, but brings more international sports fans to the game we all love.”

Any time an American league crosses the Atlantic to bring the country’s sports to Europe crowds rejoice. The NFL brings two contests to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but a third to Wembley Stadium this fall. Regardless of game, the raucous followings litter the stadium’s seating with a variety of jerseys – even representing non-competitors.

The series takes place on June 24 and 25. It marks the first MLB games in the country since the Yankees and Red Sox squared off in 2019.

Cubs Taking on Dyersville, Iowa Before London Series

It’s no shock that the Cubs have returned to their “lovable loser” ways since winning the 2016 World Series. As players regressed and trades and injuries decimated the roster, there’s difficulty in finding a recognizable face in the clubhouse. However, the recent failures of the club to compete in October doesn’t take away from the marketability of the brand.

Wrigley Field still draws immense crowds on beautiful summer afternoons in Chicago. And thanks to WGN’s carriage of Cubs games until 2019, the fan base stretches across the United States. Even in dire straits, Cubs fans travel. While unlikely to match last year’s Field of Dreams Game between the White Sox and Yankees, the atmosphere absolute should.

Expect a sold-out crowd when the Cubs face the Reds in Dyersville, Iowa on Thursday, August 11. And anticipate a raucous environment for the London Series next June between two NL Central bitter rivals. The Field of Dreams, Vin Scully, hot dogs and historic rivalries keep baseball as America’s pastime.

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