The NFL and games held in London go hand in hand now, although after being together for so long, that should come as no surprise. Time and time again, we see NFL fans flocking to the nation’s capital to see superstars they only dream of watching in real life take to the turf of Wembley, and for the upcoming season, the turf of the brand new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with info on that stadium available at https://talksport.com/sport/us-sports/.
It doesn’t matter what American sport we’re talking about, they will always be compared to the success story of the NFL, which has been a match made in heaven. The MLB is next in line; so, can they crack London just like the NFL have done, and continue to do so? This won’t be easy, especially as the MLB is way down in terms of popularity compared to the NFL, but based on the crowds that flocked to the recent game there, it seems the MLB may be onto something.
Over the two days, 130,000 people made their way to London to see the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees battle it out at the Olympic Stadium, as reported by https://www.bbc.com/sport/baseball/. Those figures compare well to the two other sporting leagues who regularly play games in the UK, the NFL and NBA. They attracted a total of 275,000 fans across four games, with three NFL games and one NBA game back in October.
One thing that a move away from playing solely in the US brings to the sport is betting. Of those in attendance, and the many more watching from home in the UK, people will have been placing bets with their bookmakers on what they expected to happen. Betting in the UK is strongly linked to sport, with many betting options available at sites such as https://www.paddypower.com/baseball providing plenty of reasons for UK viewers to get invested in the US export.
While the relationship inside America is still in its infancy between leagues and sports betting, what it does bring is a whole new audience, and something like that is needed for this sport to continue its growth in the UK. If people have the option to bet and live stream a game, they could do exactly that. An exciting run-fest like the one that we saw in London could be all that was needed to transform many casual sports fans into those who want to learn more and become interested in baseball.
The sport has a lot to do if it wants to catch up with the NFL, which is really cornering the American sports market in the UK right now. However, the first step having been so impressive will have really opened the eyes of the MLB, and it is likely that they are already looking at further games across the pond. If the opportunity is taken correctly, then this really could be the start of something big for baseball and fans of the sport who live in the UK.