MLB plans to hold regular-season games in the UK in 2019 and 2020

Sat 29 Jul 2017

The publication of the 2017-2021 MLB Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) on 28 July made for some exciting reading for UK baseball fans, as it outlines the intention by Major League Baseball to move 13 regular-season series to a number of foreign countries over the next four years, including the United Kingdom.

The other nations specifically mentioned in the text are Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico as well as countries in Asia.

The CBA is an agreement between the Players Union and Major League Baseball on how the sport will be conducted, and generally contains information on rule modifications, changes to the draft system, and other intricacies involved in the relationship between players and team owners.

But this CBA goes into some detail about MLB’s plans – supported by the Players Union – to increase the exposure of the sport overseas.


According to the CBA, the UK can expect a series (either two, three or four games on consecutive days) to be played on its shores in June 2019 and June 2020, and it isn’t hard to imagine more series being played here if those initial two are deemed a success.

It also isn’t that much of a stretch to imagine that the prospect of MLB games in London have improved after the success of the recent #MLBBattlegrounds event in Hyde Park.

The Olympic Stadium in London has been hotly tipped in the media to host the MLB series, and with the stadium’s two main tenants, West Ham Football Club and British Athletics, not traditionally using the facility in June, those speculations would appear to make sense.


However, some caution about MLB’s plans may be in order.

Despite the CBA stating that an Opening Day series for the 2018 season will be held in Japan, progress in achieving this has so far been non-existent, and the chance of this happening is now rated as unlikely by people within MLB. 

To that end, MLB would only confirm that the Puerto Rico series due to be held in May 2018 is set and that it ‘may have other announcements’ on the other series the CBA refers to.

It would be therefore wise to temper expectations until further notice.

For now, though the British baseball and softball playing community and the many other MLB fans in the UK can look forward with cautious optimism to the prospect of actual Major League Baseball being played in our country.

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