Major League Baseball returns to London, starting this summer with what US organizers describe as a “fast-paced, non-stop action” version of the game taking place at Crystal Palace Park.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is on a whirlwind tour of the United States to create new tourist activities for the capital. Overnight, he announced a renewal of the London series, last played before the pandemic in 2019, with MLB games to be played at Olympic Stadium from 2023.
But first, there has to be a day of what’s called the MLB Home Run Derby X at Crystal Palace Park on July 9 this year – a modernization of the “American game” for the 21st century, with many pieces pyrotechnics, musical numbers and full entertainment.
“The playing field is smaller, but the action is bigger than ever,” MLB says of the format, which embarks on a world tour that stops in London, Seoul and Mexico City.
“Home Run Derby X sees teams of four go head-to-head… with points up for grabs on both offense and defense and extra scoring opportunities with targeted shots and hot streak balls.
“Teams will be made up of MLB legends, superstars, rookies and rookie Wild Cards and will represent four Major League Baseball clubs: the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees.
“If on-field action wasn’t enough, MLB Home Run Derby X brings the noise through live music, baseball-inspired activities, food, fashion and games; providing a high octane day for all.
In 2019, London’s Olympic Stadium hosted MLB’s first games in Europe when the Sox met the Yankees. The teams that will compete in London next year will be announced at a later date.
The latest move, Mayor Khan and MLB officials said, aims to “increase the popularity of the game in the UK”.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said: “I am delighted to announce that we will be back in London next summer.
“Every aspect of the first MLB games in London was a resounding success. It was clear that sports fans in London had a great appetite for baseball and that passion was shared by Mayor Khan as well as the community. business and media.
“We are confident in our long-term commitment to London and look forward to returning to the city with more MLB games, special fan events and more opportunities to play and watch the game.”
MLB said it has entered into a “long-term strategic partnership” with City Hall for the next five years.
“This long-term partnership with Major League Baseball is ambitious and includes regular season games as well as a legacy program designed to increase the number of Londoners watching and playing baseball locally in London,” said the Mayor. Khan.
“Major League Baseball’s commitment to London over the past several years is very exciting for our city.
“It’s wonderful to see boys and girls playing with elite athletes, and your commitment to keeping softball and baseball alive among young people,” he said.
The Home Run Derby X is the latest large-scale event to be announced for Crystal Palace Park, run under the new park trust.
The July 9 event adds to a mini-Glastonbury of music events, including the Wireless Festival, later in the summer.
For more information and to book tickets for HRDX, click here.
Become a patron!