LONDON -- One of London's famous cricket venues has joined
Major League Baseball's list of potential sites for regular-season
games in 2007.
After moving games to Mexico, Puerto Rico and Japan, baseball
officials have met with representatives of the Surrey County
Cricket Club, which runs The Oval cricket ground in south London.
Wet, chilly weather in the spring could make an opening-season game
difficult, but a game later in the season is possible.
"Major League Baseball is very interested in playing games in
Europe," baseball senior vice president Paul Archey said Thursday.
"We're investigating possibilities in Europe where we may be able
to play regular-season games as early as the 2007 season."
Archey, who is in the Netherlands for baseball's World Cup, said
other venues in Europe being considered included Rome; Paris;
Munich, Germany; and Amsterdam and Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
Baseball officials inspected Rome's Olympic Stadium in April
2003. Archey said northern European venues presented weather
problems early in the season.
"There's a lot of interest in us playing in London, and I think
selling tickets would be the easiest part of it," Archey said.
The World Baseball Classic, a 16-nation event organized by Major
League Baseball and its players' association, is to be played next
year in March in the United States, Asia and Latin America.
Baseball officials say the next regular-season games moved to an
international site are likely to be in 2007.
The New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Devil Rays opened the 2004
season with two games in Tokyo, the second pair of regular-season
games in Japan. In addition, the Montreal Expos played some games
in San Juan for the second straight season in 2004 before the
franchise moved to Washington, D.C.