One of baseball’s oldest rivalries is going international.
The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox will play two games in England in 2019, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced Tuesday. The series will be played June 29-30 at London Stadium, which previously held events for the 2012 Summer Olympics and is home to the West Ham United Football Club.
“We are bringing you one of the best rivalries in baseball,” Manfred said to the Associated Press. “The stadium infrastructure in this city gives Major League Baseball every opportunity to put on a first-class event. We hope this series will be the beginning of a relationship with London that persists and a continuation of increasing exposure for Major League Baseball in Europe.”
Boston will serve as the home team for those games, and the stadium will have a capacity of 55,000 for the each of the two matchups. Even though you may not be able to get certain MLB food staples like these 30 options from stadiums around the league, London Stadium has plenty of options, including “locally-sourced Wicks Manor sausages” and “Smoked beech wood German imported Hot Dogs,” according to the stadium website.
This won’t be the first time England has hosted American baseball teams: The Chicago White Sox and New York Giants played a series of exhibition games in 1914 in London at Stamford Bridge (and also played in Rome and France), and in 1924, the two teams played at Liverpool’s Goodison Park. Here’s a look at that game:
Goodison Park, Liverpool, England, October 23, 1924 – This morning MLB announced that Yankees-Red Sox will play a series in London in 2020. Here, 2,500 watched the Chicago White Sox beat the NY Giants 16-11 in an exhibition game at one of England’s legendary football stadiums pic.twitter.com/wdZrlI5l2E
— Old-Time Baseball Photos (@OTBaseballPhoto) May 8, 2018
While the series between the Yankees and Red Sox was just announced, bringing regular season MLB games over to England has been in the works for nearly a year.
The latest collective bargaining agreement between the players and Major League Baseball reached in 2016 included schedules for international play, including in England and Asia for the 2019 and 2020 seasons, according to ESPN. The Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics will open the 2019 MLB season in Tokyo for two games.
Going international is nothing new for Major League Baseball—the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres played three games in Monterrey, Mexico this season, and in past years, teams have played games in Japan and Australia.
The new set of games also follows a trend that many other major American sports leagues have done in recent years. The NFL has held regular season games in London for over a decade and has also played games in Mexico, while the NBA has held its “NBA Global Games” series in Mexico and London over the last five years.
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