Next MLB season opens in Australia--your thoughts.

It was recently announced the 2014 major league baseball season will open with games between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks–in Australia. They’ll use a cricket ground since there are no sizeable baseball stadiums in Australia. Any thoughts about this or the overall idea of opening the season overseas? I’m not a big fan of these overseas jaunts; I remember when my hometown team (the Mariners) opened in Japan, and I thought opening the season at 3am local time robbed us of a true opening day. For that matter anyone planning to see these games?

I like baseball being an international game but this is a silly, pointless stunt that will result in little additional Australia revenue and is a significant disadvantage for the teams involved.

I hate it. If you have to play a game in Australia, then pick two teams that will give up an April homestand in the middle of questionable weather. D-backs draw good crowds against the Dodgers and the game at home wouldn’t be played in 40 degrees.

I think exhibitions should be played in any country where baseball is a growing sport. Having MLB players travel that far as part of the regular season seems a little nuts. Why not reward a baseball crazy country instead, like the Dominican Republic?

Is it set in cement? We were talking about it at work last week and of all the sports nuts the only one even vaguely interested was the guy whose wallpaper is the Oakland A’s logo. I’m not sure people will really care about it.

Alright, which holy ground of cricket will they defile. :mad:

I think that right there tells you how good of an idea this is…

Sydney Cricket Ground, although “defile” seems a bit harsh.

Then again, if they held a cricket match at Yankee Stadium, I doubt it would draw much of a crowd.

Admittedly, the Australian Baseball League is fun to follow online. It looks like the sport is gaining a small but loyal following there. I just wish MLB would send say an April Houston at KC 2 game series there rather than Dodgers/D-backs, 2 division rivals

And think of the poor pitchers who have to adjust to pitching upside down.

You do wonder why they couldn’t replace a few Indians or Tigers home games, games that so often in early April are atrocious, freezing and miserable.

How can it disadvantage both teams? :dubious: But it’ll bring in revenue, the top tickets are $500! Which is why I won’t be going (not to mention that I can watch paint dry at home for free).

On the other hand the expenses will be horrific:

It won’t be 40 degrees, regardless of whether you mean C or F.Average daily temperature range in Sydney in March is 17-24c = 63-76f. What may be a problem is rain, March is our wettest month.

Yes, tickets are on sale right now to SCG members.

Blank Slate:

I think you’ll be pretty surprised. There are many Indian and Pakistani immigrants in New York who follow and play cricket. I don’t doubt that they could fill Yankee Stadium, given enough publicity for the game.

Both teams would have to go through a rather hefty travel schedule before playing additional opponents, of course.

Baseball is played every day. One day off is a huge break. A trip back from Australia takes a day, and can take a day or two to get over; it’s a big deal.

They’re playing March 22nd and 23rd, a good week before the season usually starts, so they should be fine.

Australia has a low level pro league and produces a steady, albeit small, stream of MLB caliber players. Didi Gregorius, an early contender for NL ROY, played for the Canberra Cavalry of the ABL.

Especially as the SCG hosted over 1,100 rugby league games between 1913 and 1987. If the groundstaff could cope with that on the wicket block, a little diamond in one corner isn’t going to trouble them.

The real reason that the Americans shouldn’t play a game of their national sport there is that should the Australians decide to take it up in droves they’ll end up dominating it in a generation or two. Just ask the English…

Now that I think of it, this may be why they chose these teams. Gregorius, though Dutch, has an Oz connection, and the Dodgers have RP Peter Moylan, from Western Australia, on their roster.

I’m an SCG member, so I checked out the pre-order tickets. I figured that if I could get a reasonable seat for maybe $25-30 I might check it out.

First things first, it’s pricey. Tickets that cost $42.50 (fees included) at Arizona’s home ground (outfield along the lines) cost over $200 at the SCG. So that’s a no from the get-go.

Secondly, the stadium’s badly designed for baseball - if you want a bleacher seat in the US, it’s at least pretty close to the outfield wall. At the SCG the temporary outfield walls are about 70m from the $80 concourse seats (which are at ground level, so I have no idea what you can see from there), and you’ll pay a shade over $100 to sit in the Clive Churchill stand, another 50m or so further back.

They might have been better playing at the Showground stadium, which hosted baseball/softball for the Olympics (but has a much smaller capacity of 25,000). I don’t like their odds of selling out the SCG, particularly given those prices and that the Olympic baseball only got a few thousand to each game.

With that said, baseball’s been played at the SCG before. I think it was 1911 when the Chicago White Sox played there.

[quote=“Askance, post:12, topic:661107”]

On the other hand the expenses will be horrific:

Impressive as that sum is, the comparison is not correct.

The 10 A-League teams each have a salary cap of 2.45mil.
The 5 Australian Super Rugby franchises have salary caps of $4.5mil.
Each of the 16 NRL clubs has a salary cap of $4.4mil.
The 18 AFL clubs each have a salary cap of $8.78mil

[quote=“Askance, post:12, topic:661107”]

It won’t be 40 degrees, regardless of whether you mean C or F.Average daily temperature range in Sydney in March is 17-24c = 63-76f. What may be a problem is rain, March is our wettest month./QUOTE]

I meant that if 2 US teams have to sacrifice regular season games for this, they should pick some Midwestern team who would give up a game in April where the weather is likely to be bad and attendance low. Even for competitive teams, attendance is often lousy in April when it is cold and the NBA/NHL/March Madness are in full swing.