Last month’s MLB London Series generated higher per-capita revenues than any other MLB international game, SportBusiness has learned.
Speaking at the SportBusiness Decision Makers Summit in London, Andrew Hampel, president of Legends International, said the two-day series between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees was an unprecedented success in revenue terms, helping to underscore London’s reputation as a world-class host city.
Over 138,000 fans filled the London Stadium in Queen Elizabeth Park for the two sold-out matches, with roughly 30 per cent of fans traveling from the US and 70 per cent being local.
Hampel, whose Legends International held the retail concession for the series, praised the MLB for transforming the London Stadium into an authentic American ballpark, helping to drive revenues across the board.
“It was phenomenal, it felt like an American ballpark,” said Hampel. “You can’t just pick up a baseball diamond, with its physical size and sightlines, and plonk it down in any football ground.
“It worked at the London Stadium for precisely the same reason that it doesn’t work for football, because it’s got the physical size to accommodate it.
“Did it work for baseball? – absolutely. They did a brilliant job of bringing baseball to London.”
Hampel said he expects the MLB to return to London beyond its two-year spell at the London Stadium, following in the footsteps of the NFL. Though he warned that the MLB may struggle to export itself to other markets.
“As a platform it’s great, but they’ve got some real logistical issues about where they can take the sport.”