London’s Daily Telegraph reports that London mayor Sadiq Khan met with Mets owner Fred Wilpon during a trip to the United States last week. The purpose of the talks: to get the Mets to play a game in the U.K., which could happen as soon as 2018.
Khan says that Wilpon was “very receptive” to the idea. From the Telegraph:
Khan, who threw the first pitch during the Mets’ game against the Minnesota Twins while in the States, said: “What we’re discussing with Major League Baseball is for them to come here during the summer, which works for us for obvious reasons.
“They are very excited and the commissioner is very keen. They’ve tried playing Major League Baseball in Australia. They were very receptive. The owner of the New York Mets was very receptive. We’re in discussions about MLB and we want MLB to come to London.”
Earlier this year there were reports that a game could be played there in 2017, but that schedule has slipped. At the time there were no specific teams tied to the reports, however, which suggests that the 2018 plans may be more fully-formed than that which came before.
A baseball game would take place at London Stadium, which was the site of the 2012 Olympics and is where West Ham United of the English Premier League plays. Given the need to reconfigure the stadium for baseball, one assumes that the games would take place in June, July or August, when the EPL schedule is not underway. That would prevent MLB from putting the game early in the season with multiple days off on either side like it did when games were played in Australia or Japan. It’d be easier to do that, of course, given that a New York-London flight is WAY shorter than a flight to Asia or Australia, but it would limit the opportunities for public events and p.r. things.
Either way: interesting.