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London Series sets records for MLB

Major League Baseball (MLB) has announced that the weekend’s London Series between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox set an all-time record for merchandise sales.

While MLB did not disclose a precise figure, it said a new benchmark was set for an international event for one day and series at a single venue. The London Series also surpassed three-day MLB All-Star merchandise sales figures dating back to the 2008 All-Star Game in New York.

The two games at London Stadium on Saturday and Sunday marked MLB’s first regular season fixtures in Europe and drew a total attendance of 118,718. The attendance of 59,659 for the first game made it the largest attended MLB fixture ever played on international soil. It was also the most attended MLB game since 2003.

Among a host of other statistics released yesterday (Wednesday) reflecting back on the London Series, MLB confirmed that 70 per cent of tickets were sold to people in the UK, with 20 per cent sold to fans in the US, and 10 per cent to people from the rest of the world.

Speaking at a press conference held during the series, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred had said: “We’re trying to bring baseball to the UK, so that 70 per cent is important to us. That 30 per cent is our most loyal, devoted, interested fan base, and the fact that those people want to travel either from New York or Boston to see a Yankees-Red Sox game, it’s not bad news for us, either.”

In addition, MLB said the London Series resulted in 13.95 million impressions on its dedicated social media channels for the series during the week of the event. It added that the series has helped create a 208-per-cent increase of new MLB At Bat app downloads across Europe in 2019 versus 2018.

MLB and the MLB Players Association confirmed last month that the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals will play the second iteration of the London Series next year at London Stadium. The Cubs and Cardinals are scheduled to play on June 13-14, 2020.