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New York Mets ‘extremely interested’ in participating in 2020 London series

The New York Mets have told Major League Baseball that they are interested in participating in the 2020 London series.

It was reported last month that MLB is considering two possible match-ups for the series: the Mets v Washington Nationals or Chicago Cubs v St. Louis Cardinals. And the Mets have made it clear they are keen to take part.

“We would be extremely interested. Major League Baseball knows that we would love to go play in London in 2020,” Lou DePaoli, the Mets executive vice-president and chief revenue officer, told SportBusiness.

“I believe that we are one of the final teams they are considering but it’s still early in the process. We would love to go because we just think it would be a great opportunity to expand into a global footprint for our fanbase. It would expand our brand a little bit further into Europe.”

This summer the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox will play a two-match series at the London Stadium, on June 29-30.

On Thursday, the Mets made a series of announcements for their plans for the coming season, including various activations with sponsors. These include: the First Data Club (a premium food and beverage space), Verizon Up premium seats behind home plate (for Verizon Up customers only), the Built Ford Tough Challenge (a fitness attraction) and the Blue Point Brewing Company Patio (an outdoor social gathering space).

The Mets are also giving away bobbleheads to fans in partnership with WWE, HBO (Game of Thrones) and Lucasfilm (Star Wars).

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1969 World Series victory, the team are planning a series of celebrations, including renaming 126th Street at Citi Field to 41 Seaver Way in honour of Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver. A statue is also planned.

The Mets are considering following the Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays – as well as the Atlanta Falcons – by implementing cashless payment facilities at Citi Field. “We’re not ready to roll that out yet but it’s on our radar along with a few other ideas, such as self-serve concessions stands. It’s tough to change everything over in one off-season,” DePaoli added.

The Mets, though, will not be drastically cutting their concessions prices – as at Mercedes-Benz Stadium – as they want to maintain their premium food and drink offerings at Citi Field.

“We’ve built the brand here of having the best food here in all of sports and to turn around and then offer a $2 hot dog really runs counter to that brand, which we’ve spent 10 years building up and gets better and better every year,” DePaoli said.

The Mets this week rolled out the ‘Amazin Mets’ ballpark pass in a bid to appeal to the Millennial generation and are already close to selling the 2,000 allotment. DePaoli said: “We’ve seen some other teams have similar passes like this which have been successful and we’re trying to reach a younger audience…to whet their appetite to get their foot in the door.

“Everything we do is trying to grow attendance. We need to grow our attendance for our reasons and baseball’s reasons as well. We don’t want to see the league’s attendance continue to decline so if we can help put up a bigger number – and we’re planning on a healthy increase this year – then hopefully that can help drive the number for everyone else up a little bit.”