The Boston Red Sox will play a two-game series against the New York Yankees in London next season. That’s very exciting. But it also means a lot of travel and, more importantly, two fewer home games at Fenway Park, as Boston is the designated “home team” for both contests.
Sam Kennedy is just fine with that, though.
The Red Sox president and CEO admitted the team had some trepidation about relinquishing a pair of home games for the MLB London series, but that the pros outweighed the cons.
“Honestly there was hesitation around a lot of aspects because we?re all very competitive and you want to make sure you?re never at a competitive disadvantage,? Kennedy told The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey in an article published Friday.
?We like the concept of being the home team in London because we have connections with Liverpool (the Red Sox’s parent company, Fenway Sports Group, also is the parent company of Liverpool FC) and we have a London office so we get certain rights and benefits as the home team over there, our season ticket holders will have the opportunity to get tickets, our sponsors will have access to the games, so we like some of the benefits of being the home team.”
According to Kennedy, Red Sox season ticket holders already have shown a strong interest in purchasing tickets to the London contests, which are set for June 29 and June 30, 2019. Kennedy expects both games at the 55,000-seat London Stadium to sell out.
“It?s an economic reality that it was just easier to buy out Red Sox home games for the league,” Kennedy added. “So the Yankees have been great. They?ve wanted it to happen as much or even more.”
Boston only will play 79 games at Fenway next season, but the Red Sox still could get a home team’s welcome in London, in addition to the business perks associated with hosting a Major League Baseball game on international turf.