MLB Will Open '14 Season In Sydney With Two Games Between Dodgers, D'Backs
The '14 MLB season will "begin in Sydney," with the Dodgers and D'Backs set to "play two games at the Sydney Cricket Ground" on March 22 and 23, according to Adrian Proszenko of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. MLB, the Australian Baseball League and Destination New South Wales have "been working on the project for several years." An official announcement is expected tomorrow. The teams are "expected to be in Sydney for six days," and it is "understood that a warm-up game -- potentially against an Australian all-star team or the Sydney Blue Sox -- could be considered." The negotiations have been "a highly guarded secret, with MLB officials threatening to scupper the deal if details were made public." Sydney-based sports event-marketing firm Moore Sports Dir Jason Moore said, "This will be the biggest sporting event in Sydney since the 2003 Rugby World Cup final." The move to Australia marks "just the sixth time that a series [has] been played outside the US, with three previously played in Japan." But rather than "just a one-off, Australian officials hope to stage games every four years" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 6/13). Australia Sport Minister Graham Annesley said, "The SCG will be transformed into an MLB field, with the construction of an infield clay area, pitcher's mound, dugouts and additional grandstand" (Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH, 6/13).