Major League Baseball has developed a series of fan engagement and youth development activities connected to the league’s planned games in London next month.
The two-game London Series between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox on June 29-30 at London Stadium, representing the league’s first-ever games played in Europe, will be joined three-day baseball festival called London Yards. The ticketed event at Truman Brewery in East London, set for June 28-30, will include music, virtual reality stations, cuisine from New York and Boston, and a live screening of the two games.
The league will also stage near London Stadium a local version of Play Ball Park that will serve as a center of youth-focused baseball and softball activity with a temporary diamond, batting cages, and pitching tunnels. This initiative is part of the league’s broader Play Ball youth participation push, and other local Play Ball Parks have been regularly present at league jewel events over the past several years.
As part of the Play Ball initiative, MLB and longtime partner Little League International have also invited four London-based youth teams to participate in a tournament at the facility, entitled the MLB Cup. Players in those games will also attend the Yankees-Red Sox workout day June 28 at London Stadium.
The MLB Cup will be joined by a larger elite development tournament for top teenage players from 14 European countries that will be staged at the National Team Training Centre in Farnham Park. The tournament, like the Yankees-Red Sox games, will be the first of its type staged in the U.K.
The initiatives seek to amplify the centerpiece of what was already slated this year to be the largest set of international and special-event games in MLB history. In addition to the pair of games set for London, the league has or will play games this year in Japan; Monterrey, Mexico; Omaha, Neb.; and Williamsport, Pa.