Monday, June 17, 2024
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Overall success in long-term affairs

After a four-year wait, the second legs of the London Series are in the works. Here is our roundup of MLB London 2023…

There were significant changes between the 2019 MLB London Series and their 2023 bid. In addition to trading the Yankees and Red Sox for the Cubs and Cardinals, MLB also took over Trafalgar Square, optimized the stadium layout, and further increased ticket prices.

The weather was as bad as four years ago. The games were less historic, with a Cubs blunder on Saturday followed by an entertaining Cardinals win on Sunday. Major league teams were heavily represented indoors and in the stands, and there was a friendly party atmosphere fueled by a good rivalry between Chicago and St. Louis fans.

Participation in the 2023 MLB London Series

MLB reported attendance of about 55,000 over both days. it late On Saturday there was a bigger rush, on Sunday there were some vacancies. Sure, there are plenty of people lining up to eat or escape the sun, but the more expensive high-row seats behind home plate seemed rare on Sunday afternoon.

There were also volatile areas on Saturday, as some tickets were available at bargain prices in used markets in the days leading up to the matches.


It is no secret that this is a very expensive event. Prices for adults started from £54 for seats away from the action. Good seats cost at least £100 per adult. Yes, a rare event in London will always be expensive, but it’s fair to wonder if the prices for fans (and, more importantly, potential new fans) are too much.

However, the outrageous prices remain once you get past the pocket scanners and ticket checks. The boomstick hot dogs and special London series options (the glazed donut burger was great) will be pricey, which fans can live with. However, the ‘regular’ items are inflated, including £4.30 for a warm bottle of Sprite in 31 degree heat and £10 for a standard chicken wrap.

Bottled water and other soft and alcoholic drinks cost almost £5. A Mr. Whippy is pretty much the same thing.

Fans are prepared for discounts that cost more at ticketed events. It would still be deceiving to look back at the 2023 MLB London Series and find out the total cost from buying face value tickets to grabbing a quick drink between innings in the sweltering heat.

dining options

Whether you think it’s good value or not, the food and drink selection was excellent (maybe even better than 2019). Boomstick hot dogs and nachos were back and wildly popular. The London series’ menus featured Cubs and Cardinals-themed burgers and hot dogs, and the donut burger was a highlight, if you could live with being covered in gravy/bruce.

If you want to take a break from burgers and hot dogs, there are other options around the stadium, including fish and chips, Greek food and ice cream. Vendors of beer, donuts, popcorn and candy were buzzing in the stands and in the concourse. Again, prices were an issue – a small selection bag was £9.

The “cocktail” stands were a good place to get an ice-cold drink. £10 for a mojito or strawberry daquiri felt less outrageous than some of the costs elsewhere. Heineken and Amstel were the choicest – prices were closer to what you’d expect.

the atmosphere

Apart from a couple of groats behind us on Saturday who came hammering in the third row, screaming foul and spilling drinks all evening, the atmosphere was great. Music, including music from the house band, kept the energy levels high throughout the day. The player info on the big screen was a nice touch.

The vast majority of the crowd was deeply into the game, with Marcus Stroman and Albert Pujols getting the loudest cheers in the pregame presentation. Nathan Lyon was inevitably rocked as he went first with Jimmy Anderson on Saturday.

Fortunately, comparisons to the home rivalry between Millwall and West Ham at the stadium couldn’t be further from the truth. Without any aggression, there was an overall pleasant atmosphere for die-hard fans and families. MLB ticked most of the boxes by emulating the feel of baseball.

Future of MLB London

The Mets and Phillies are confirmed for 2024, with the potential for a series in 2026. MLB’s London 2023 games had great viewership on paper, but it will be fascinating to see how MLB evaluates their second trip to regular season in the UK.

Would you attend these awards if you weren’t already into baseball? How many spectators are new to the sport? What percentage were tourist groups from St. Louis or Chicago?

Part of the reason the London 2023 Series worked so well was how authentic it felt. Apart from some internal entertainment, it wasn’t a gimmick. This authenticity was certainly reinforced by what felt like a very American audience. Of course, that’s not a problem in itself, but it does raise the question of what MLB really wants to accomplish.

If the goal is really to bring the game to a new audience, I think lower prices are a must. And how @BravesInTheUK As pointed out on Twitter, giving away free (or at least heavily discounted) subscriptions to MLB.TV would certainly be an effective way to convert those who enjoyed a weekend at London Stadium into lifelong baseball fans. year.

Great weekend but very expensive

All in all, MLB provided baseball fans with a great weekend. It was festive.

Prices and queues remain a problem. Of course, this is a problem in many big events, but eating for a bite in the middle of the game does not mean losing a few turns. If so, then external screens need to work and there should be more.

Trafalgar Square was a good idea. However, having only one entrance and a full-height fence was a bit odd, and it’s unclear how many non-baseball fans would have entered or taken a few swings. it without more or less like a ticketed event and it wasn’t clear that anyone could come for a cheesesteak.

Fortunately, we don’t have to wait four years for MLB to return to the UK when the Mets and Phillies play in early June 2024. There will definitely be changes again. Prices are unlikely to drop.

The London Series is great for die-hard MLB fans, even when their teams aren’t playing. It’s unclear how it manages to attract new fans, and that could be the tipping point if MLB games in London have a long-term future.



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