NEW YORK – Major League Baseball plans to return to London next year for the first time since 2019.
On Thursday, the league announced that the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs will play a two-game series on June 24-25, 2023 at the London Stadium. Rivals NL Central were scheduled to play in London in 2020, but the games were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Cardinals are excited and proud to be part of the London Series next year,” Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a press release. “The Cardinals-Cubs rivalry is one of the best in the sport and it will be interesting to bring it to a new audience in Europe.”
The last time MLB played in London was in 2019, when the New York Yankees won a two-game set against the Boston Red Sox at London Stadium in June. It was also the first MLB regular season game in Europe.
Chicago and St. Louis have already played international games. The Cubs opened the 2000 season in Tokyo against the New York Mets and played a three-game streak against the Montreal Expos in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2003. The Cardinals played a two-game set against Cincinnati in Mexico in 2019.
“The MLB London Series between the Cubs and Cardinals has been in development for many years, and we’re thrilled that 2023 will finally be able to introduce fans overseas to one of baseball’s biggest rivalries,” Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said. in a press release.
The London 2023 Series is part of an international roster that was approved in a March labor agreement between MLB and the players’ association. It also provides for the London Games in 2024 and 2026, the first games in France in 2025, the Mexico City Annual Games in 2023-2026, the Asian Opening in 2024, and the Tokyo Opening in 2025.
“These games will be a great opportunity to once again showcase the London Stadium as a multifunctional venue and asset to the capital,” London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement. The St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs are the two most supported baseball clubs, and I know they will have a fantastic welcome here next summer in the sports capital of the world.”