MLB London Series
Logo of the 2024 edition
SponsorsMitel (2019)
Capital One (2023)
Played series2019, 2023
Planned series2024, 2026
SiteLondon Stadium
London, UK
US televisionFox and ESPN
UK televisionBBC Sport and TNT Sports
London Stadium in July 2015

The MLB London Series is an arrangement for Major League Baseball (MLB) to play select regular season games at London Stadium in London, England. The arrangement was initially for two years, 2019 and 2020, which was sponsored by Mitel and branded as Mitel & MLB Present London Series.[1] The 2019 games were the first MLB contests ever played in Europe, and featured the Boston Red Sox hosting two games against the New York Yankees. Two games planned for 2020 between the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, the arrangement between MLB and Greater London was renewed for games in 2023, 2024 and 2026. Beginning with the 2023 season, the series is branded as the MLB World Tour: London Series, reflecting the new "MLB World Tour" name applied to games played outside the U.S. and Canada.[2]


On May 8, 2018, MLB announced a two-year agreement to hold baseball games at London Stadium during the 2019 and 2020 seasons. At that time, outside of the contiguous United States and Canada, MLB had previously held regular season games in Australia, Japan, Mexico, and Puerto Rico,[3] and previously held spring training games in China,[4] but had never held any games in Europe.[5] The National Football League (NFL) had similarly held regular-season games in London—primarily at Wembley Stadium—under the banner of the NFL London Games. The NFL developed a large fanbase in the United Kingdom, and as of 2018, the games at Wembley had attracted an average attendance of 85,031.[6] The NBA similarly held games in London as part of its Global Games series.[5]

Kelhem Salter, MLB's director of growth and strategy in the EMEA region, noted that Europe was a "key growth market" for the league, and that Londoners were "big event-goers" and frequently sell-out events held there.[7] Unlike the other countries where MLB has held international games, baseball is not as popular and established in the United Kingdom.[7] Salter explained that the league wanted to differentiate its efforts in London from those of other leagues, by emphasizing a "connection to culture and the culture of the specific cities that our teams represent" to engage with new fans. In May 2018, the league began a year-long cultural program entitled "The 108" (referring to the number of stitches on a standard baseball) to promote the London games, encompassing a series of zines profiling MLB teams, as well as "The 108 Sessions" — a series of live concert events at local venues featuring acts representing the teams' cities. The campaign was designed to "build a genuine dialogue and relationship with cultural scenes that reflect those of the MLB home cities."[8][7]

The inaugural series was played during the 2019 season between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, longtime divisional rivals.[9] A planned series in 2020 was canceled. On May 9, 2022, commissioner Rob Manfred and London mayor Sadiq Khan announced a long-term partnership between the league and the city including regular-season games in 2023, 2024 and 2026, along with other major events over a five-year period.[10]

Series history


Main article: 2019 MLB London Series

In June 2019, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox played a two-game series, with the Red Sox the designated "home" team. The Yankees won the first game by a score of 17–13, and the second game by a score of 12–8.


The 2020 series was scheduled to take place June 13–14, at London Stadium, with the St. Louis Cardinals hosting the Chicago Cubs.[11] Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the games were cancelled. Commissioner Rob Manfred stated that "it was unlikely the events would go forward, and timely cancellation allowed us to preserve important financial resources".[12] The start of the 2020 season was delayed due to the pandemic, and MLB cancelled other planned games in Puerto Rico and Mexico for similar reasons.[12]


On August 4, 2022, the first matchup of the extended partnership between MLB and the City of London was announced, with the Cardinals and Cubs scheduled for a two-game series in London on June 24–25, 2023.[13]

Main article: 2023 MLB London Series

In June 2023, the Cardinals and Cubs played a two-game series, with the Cardinals the designated "home" team. The Cubs won the first game by a score of 9–1, and the Cardinals won the second game by a score of 7–5.[14]


On June 23, 2023, it was announced that the 2024 series would involve the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies, scheduled for June 8–9, 2024.[15]


Locating a venue with the correct dimensions required for a baseball field was difficult, especially as the majority of stadiums in the London region are primarily designed for soccer. MLB officials had evaluated multiple options (including cricket fields such as The Oval), before finalizing London Stadium as the site.[7] The facility was originally constructed for the 2012 Summer Olympics; in late-2015, it was reported that MLB officials had measured the stadium's dimensions and considered it potentially suitable for baseball, and had negotiated the possibility of holding games there.[9][5]

MLB developed a plan to adapt London Stadium for the games to make it resemble an MLB ballpark, via installation of a new baseball field as an overlay on top of the stadium's existing running track and pitch, with a seating configuration to emulate the more "intimate" layout and fan experiences of MLB ballparks. Materials to construct the playing surface include approximately 142,000 square feet (13,200 m2) of FieldTurf, and clay for the pitcher's mound and home plate area sourced from Pennsylvania.[16] As the facility's locker rooms are smaller and suited towards soccer, larger, MLB-style clubhouses were built within the stadium.[9] As done at the Toronto Blue Jays' Rogers Centre, dimensions from home plate were posted in both feet and meters: 330 feet (100.6 m) to the foul poles and 385 feet (117.4 m) to center field, with a 16-foot (4.9 m) fence.[16] The dimensions were described as being potentially hitter-friendly.[9][17] The two points in left center and right center where the temporary fences join the wall in center field area are slightly closer than center, marked as 382 feet (116.4 m). As the roof overhangs the home plate area, there is a ground rule that balls hitting the roof are considered dead.[18]

For the 2023 series, the dimensions were extended by a few feet, to 387 feet (118 m) in the power alleys and 392 feet (119.5 m) to center field.[19]


In the United States, television rights for both series were split between Fox and ESPN. Fox would broadcast the Saturday afternoon game, and ESPN the Sunday afternoon game, with ESPN's broadcast typically produced as a special afternoon presentation of Sunday Night Baseball.[20]

In the United Kingdom, the series will be shown by the BBC Sport until 2026 and also on TNT Sports.[21]

Series summary

Year Date Away team Score Home team Attendance Box score
2019 June 29 New York Yankees 17–13 Boston Red Sox 59,659 [22]
June 30 New York Yankees 12–8 Boston Red Sox 59,059 [23]
2020 June 13 Chicago Cubs St. Louis Cardinals Canceled due to
the COVID-19 pandemic
June 14 Chicago Cubs St. Louis Cardinals
2023 June 24 Chicago Cubs 9–1 St. Louis Cardinals 54,662 [24]
June 25 Chicago Cubs 5–7 St. Louis Cardinals 55,565 [25]
2024 June 8 New York Mets Philadelphia Phillies [15]
June 9 New York Mets Philadelphia Phillies [15]

See also


  1. ^ "Connecting in one swing: inside Mitel's title sponsorship of the MLB London Series". November 30, 2018. Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  2. ^ Wybrow, Laura (December 6, 2022). "MLB London Series 2023 tickets live now — how to get tickets today". Radio Times. Retrieved May 3, 2023.
  3. ^ Gray, Niall (May 8, 2018). "Yankees Red Sox Will Play In London In 2019". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  4. ^ "2008 MLB China Series". Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Ferguson, Ryan (December 9, 2015). "MLB in Europe? London in the frame as baseball expands its horizons". The Guardian. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  6. ^ "NFL London Games Record Highest-Ever Average Attendance". Newsweek. October 30, 2018. Retrieved June 29, 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d ""We don't want to emulate the NFL and NBA": How MLB is planning to create its own London identity". SportsPro. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  8. ^ "MLB Steps Up the Build to Its First Ever London Game by Launching 'The 108' Zine and Live Music Night". Complex. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  9. ^ a b c d Carpenter, Les (July 21, 2018). "'You want to make sure you get it right': Baseball's big plans for London". The Guardian. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  10. ^ Murphy, Brian (May 9, 2022). "MLB, London announce long-term partnership". Retrieved May 9, 2022.
  11. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs to play in Mitel & MLB London Series 2020". June 7, 2019. Retrieved May 10, 2022.
  12. ^ a b c "MLB cancels Cubs-Cardinals London series in June". April 1, 2020. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
  13. ^ "MLB announces that Cubs will play Cardinals in London in 2023". August 4, 2022. Retrieved August 6, 2022.
  14. ^ Axisa, Mike (June 25, 2023). "MLB London Series: Contreras has big game against former team, Cardinals erase early 4-0 deficit in Game 2 win". CBS Sports. Retrieved July 25, 2023.
  15. ^ a b c Zolecki, Todd (June 23, 2023). "2024 London Series will feature NL East rivalry in Mets-Phils". Retrieved June 23, 2023.
  16. ^ a b "MLB going to great lengths for Yankees-Red Sox series in London". New York Post. Associated Press. May 21, 2019. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  17. ^ Witz, Billy (May 8, 2018). "Yankees-Red Sox Games in London Next June Could Be Home Run Derbies". The New York Times. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  18. ^ Blum, Ronald (June 28, 2019). "High cheese comes to land of high tea: Yanks vs Red Sox". New Haven Register. AP. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  19. ^ Dorney, Adrian (June 24, 2023). "What are MLB London Series' field dimensions? London stadium transformed into ballpark for Chicago Cubs vs St. Louis Cardinals rivalry".
  20. ^ "Fox, ESPN will each broadcast a game of the London Series". Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  21. ^ "Yankees v Red Sox: BBC to show Major League Baseball games". BBC Sport. September 22, 2022. Retrieved October 21, 2022.
  22. ^ "New York Yankees 17, Boston Red Sox 13". ESPN. June 29, 2019.
  23. ^ "New York Yankees 12, Boston Red Sox 8". ESPN. June 30, 2019.
  24. ^ "Chicago Cubs 9, St. Louis Cardinals 1". ESPN. June 24, 2023.
  25. ^ "Chicago Cubs 5, St. Louis Cardinals 7". ESPN. June 25, 2023.