MLB returning to London with Cards, Cubs in '20

Two-game NL Central matchup to be held at London Stadium

June 7th, 2019

CHICAGO -- The city of London will be treated to another classic rivalry next year, as the Cardinals and Cubs will play a two-game series on June 13-14, 2020, at London Stadium, in the second edition of the Mitel & MLB present London Series.

The announcement was made by Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association, and the mayor of London on Friday, just over three weeks before the Red Sox and Yankees are set to play the inaugural London Series on June 29-30.

“The Cardinals are excited and honored to be a part of the London Series next year," said Cardinals chairman and CEO William DeWitt Jr. "The Cardinals-Cubs rivalry is one of the best in sports, and it will be exciting to bring it to Europe for a new audience to experience. I have no doubt that the passionate sports fans in London will love these games, and we look forward to creating some new Cardinals fans overseas.”

Although it’s still a year away, Cardinals players are looking forward to the trip, especially playing it against their division rivals.

“It’s always an exciting game when we play the Cubs, and it’s one of the longest rivalries in sports,” Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. “So it’ll be great to bring it over there for people who don’t get a chance to see it as often. Hopefully they enjoy it.”

The clash between Boston and New York will mark the first time regular-season MLB games are hosted in Europe. London Stadium, a multipurpose venue that was initially constructed for the 2012 Summer Olympics, will be transformed into a 60,000-seat ballpark for the monumental event.

“It is an honor to participate in the MLB London Series, and we are happy to support Major League Baseball’s effort to promote America’s pastime on an international stage,” said Cubs executive chairman Tom Ricketts. “The rivalry between the Cubs and Cards is one of the best in sports and will be a great matchup for international baseball fans to experience in London.”

The 2020 games are a fulfillment of a two-year agreement MLB signed with the city of London in '18. MLB will host events, including youth initiatives and fan festivities, all over London surrounding the series. The Cardinals played a two-game series against the Reds in Monterrey, Mexico, in April as part of MLB’s '19 Mexico Series. It was the first time they took their big league product international aside from playing in the Major League cities of Toronto and Montreal.

“Anything we can do to expand our game, I’m all in for it,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon, who is not under contract for next season, has participated in baseball clinics in England, the Czech Republic, Germany and Italy. He’s seen firsthand the pocket of baseball fans around Europe. There are already Twitter accounts for UK fans of the Cardinals and Cubs.

“There's definitely an interest,” Maddon said. “You've got to get in there, and the big thing we've always talked about was getting more players, obviously, but you have to have kids being interested. You have to have 7-year-olds wanting to play baseball. To teach 15- or 16-year-olds how to throw a baseball or hit a baseball sometimes is a reach. You've got to get the kids interested at an earlier age, too, to really get them to start playing. So for me, if that's the process and the program that we're thinking about, I like it.”

Goldschmidt has been to London on vacation, and he hopes it’s a good excuse for Cardinals and Cubs fans to take a trip as well as bring in new fans for baseball. He recommends walking around the city and taking in all the sights, especially the Tower of London.

“With the historic rivalry between the Red Sox and the Yankees set to play out here in London this summer, it’s great news that MLB fans in the capital will have another London Series between the Cardinals and the Cubs to look forward to next year at the London Stadium,” said Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London. “This is the world’s greatest sporting city, and this is yet more evidence that London is open to hosting the biggest and best sports teams from around the world.”