The Sydney Cricket Ground will host Major League Baseball’s 2014 Opening Series. The games between the National League West rivals Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks will be Major League Baseball’s first regular season games to be staged in Australia. The Sydney Cricket Ground will be fully renovated to a baseball configuration and Major League standards in order to host the games.
MLB has previously opened seasons in Monterrey, Mexico (1999); Tokyo, Japan (2000, 2004, 2008, 2012); and San Juan, Puerto Rico (2001). Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig said:
The globalisation of our game continues to be paramount to Major League Baseball, and Australia is an essential part of our long-term efforts to grow the sport. We look forward to writing an exciting new chapter in international baseball history at the historic Sydney Cricket Ground next March.
The groundbreaking event was announced by the Premier of New South Wales, Barry O’Farrell, at a press conference in Sydney, which was attended by Tom Nicholson, Director of MLB’s Australia & Oceania Office, and Tim Slavin, Chief of Business Affairs and Senior Counsel for the MLBPA.
Major League Baseball’s history at the Sydney Cricket Ground dates to December 1888, when Spalding’s World Tourists played a series of exhibition games, including a December 15, 1888 contest that attracted 5,500 spectators.