NEW YORK -- The most historic rivalry in baseball will break new ground in June 2019, with the Red Sox and Yankees scheduled to meet in London for the first Major League games played in Europe.
The MLB London Series will be played June 29-30, 2019, at London Stadium, site of the 2012 Olympic Games, which will take on a baseball configuration for the event. The estimated capacity of London Stadium for the series will be 55,000. The Red Sox will be the home team for both games, marking the first time that the clubs have met in a city that was not Boston or New York.
Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and the mayor of London jointly announced the series on Tuesday. An agreement is in place for baseball to return to London in 2020, with participating teams to be announced.
"Major League Baseball is excited to be bringing one of the most storied rivalries in sports to the passionate fans of London," said Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. "In our ongoing efforts to grow baseball, there is nothing as impactful as bringing live games and our talented players to fans. This is our most significant endeavor ever in Europe, and we look forward to showcasing Major League Baseball in one of the world's great cities."
"Some of the most talented and dynamic players in the world will be playing in these games," said Tony Clark, the executive director of the MLBPA. "They are excited about the chance to meet new fans and showcase the game they love. They are aware they'll be a part of history, but they also know these games count. So fans can expect intense competition during what will surely be a great few days in London."
The United Kingdom will follow other international venues that have hosted regular-season Major League games, joining Mexico, Japan, Puerto Rico and Australia.
"I am absolutely delighted that we have secured this historic agreement for Major League Baseball to come to London in 2019 and 2020," said Sadiq Kahn, the mayor of London. "All the hard work has paid off. There is no better way to start the London Series and the first Major League Baseball fixture in Europe than a clash between two heavyweights of international sport -- the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox."
The agreement to bring the Red Sox and Yankees was years in the making, with Red Sox principal owner John Henry and Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner discussing the idea frequently.
Both the Red Sox and Yankees have played games on international soil in the past several years, visiting the Tokyo Dome for season openers. The Yankees opened the 2004 season with a two-game series against the Rays (then the Devil Rays) and the Red Sox opened '08 with two games against the Athletics.
"There were significant challenges that had to be overcome," Henry said. "We could not be happier that Commissioner Manfred has been able to make this a reality. This series will surely be the most significant international event to date for Major League ball. I can't wait to hear someone shout 'Play ball' at London Stadium."
"Bringing these storied teams together for British fans -- who have such a profound appreciation for sports at the highest level -- only adds to the unique allure of one of the world's greatest sporting rivalries," Steinbrenner said. "We expect an exciting and intense pair of games and appreciate the significance of representing our sport in such a meaningful way."
Fans can stay up to date on all news regarding the 2019 MLB London Series by following @MLBLondonSeries on Instagram and Facebook and can preregister for MLB London Series tickets at: mlb.com/london-series and https://atmlb.com/2rylJUz.
Bryan Hoch/MLB.com
 

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