The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are taking their rivalry abroad in June when the clubs travel to London for a two-game set.
According to CBS Sports, Boston and New York will play against each other on artificial turf for the first time in over 2,200 games. The reasoning behind it is because Major League Baseball and Olympic Stadium (where the Sox and Yankees will play) determined there was just not enough time to install real grass.
“Starting June 6, gravel will be placed over the covering protecting West Ham’s grass soccer pitch and the running track that is a legacy from the 2012 Olympics,” CBS Sports wrote. “The artificial turf baseball field, similar to modern surfaces used by a few big league clubs, will be installed atop that”
There are just three MLB teams who use artificial turf, the Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks. The Texas Rangers will join them when they switch from real grass next season.
Real grass was looked at as an option, but it would be too much of a process to do so.
“We looked really hard at doing a natural grass system,” sport’s field consultant Murray Cook said, via CBS Sports. “We’re going with a synthetic system and it helps us a couple ways. It’s a little more sustainable, because we’re going back next year. If we went with a natural grass system, we’d have to bulldoze it all up, throw it away and then buy it again, build it all up, throw it away again.”
Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts isn’t worried about not playing on grass.
“If we had never played on turf, it would be different,” he told CBS Sports, “But we’ve played on turf.”
The series is set for June 29 and 30. Boston will be the home team.