Expansion has been the name of the game in professional sports over the last few years. The NFL is playing games in London, the NBA has long been a global enterprise, and MLB has played games as far away as Australia.
Now baseball has turned its eyes to Europe.
Commissioner Rob Manfred reportedly is looking into having regular-season games there as soon as 2019.
“It’s something we’d really like to do in 2019,” Manfred said Thursday, via The Associated Press. “I can’t tell you we are going to do it. I can’t give you a percentage, but we do think it’s time, whether it’s 2019 or shortly thereafter, that we play in Europe.”
Major League Baseball has been trying to expand the brand just like the NFL, with the most notable efforts coming by way of the World Baseball Classic. And with teams from countries like Israel, Italy and the Netherlands all having success there, the appeal of playing games in other countries has become more and more logical.
Manfred has mentioned this possibility before, raising the possibility of games in London as early as the 2017 season. That obviously didn’t happen, but the topic is still on his mind.