In order to appeal to and engage with baseball’s growing fanbase in Europe, Major League Baseball has teamed up with American hospitality concept innovator Passyunk Avenue to deliver Home Run House, an activity-led retail experience of the game in Westfield Stratford City.
Following the success of London Yards, a festival that took place over three days in June 2019 at Truman Brewery, marking the first regular-season MLB games played in Europe, and to celebrate all things baseball, MLB sought ways to continue engagement across the continent, and one of the ways it found to do just that is through Home Run House.
Designed with a similar look and feel to London Yards, Home Run House will operate for at least 12 months, offering a space to watch, play and experience baseball. The space was carefully curated by the team at Passyunk Avenue to deliver an immersive environment, enabling customers to experience the ways in which the game has become an integral part of American culture.
“Given the interest in baseball, especially as demonstrated by the huge turnout for the London Series and related events last year, we thought it was important to develop a more sustained market presence,” said Charlie Hill, MLB’s vice president of international strategy. “We wanted to create a venue where our fans could both learn more about the game and have a fun day out in a way that replicates the experience of visiting the ballpark.”
Home Run House offers a recreated ballpark experience, and a chance to live out the social environment of a game that brings people together. Four custom-designed, high-tech batting cages -- connected to Hittrax radar technology -- offer visitors a chance to play a variety of immersive baseball-themed games with any of the 30 Major League ballparks as their backdrop.
The bar and customer entertainment area, designed in conjunction with Budweiser, is also a hub of activity, where fans can cheer on their friends in the batting cages or enjoy a cold beer and a hot dog while watching a live big league game on one of five jumbo screens.
Home Run House is also home to an officially-licensed MLB merchandise shop operated by New Era. The first of its kind, the shop is also the only one in Europe to feature hats and apparel from all 30 Major League teams.
“We’re excited to be collaborating with MLB and Budweiser to make this concept a reality because our brand is all about telling authentic American stories that provide a glimpse into unique aspects of American culture,” said Passyunk Avenue founder JP Teti. “And we believe there is a great American story to tell here.”