Dodgers In 'Advanced' Talks About Opening '14 Season In Australia
Negotiations for MLB L.A. Dodgers Owner Earvin "Magic" Johnson to bring his team to Sydney to open the 2014 MLB season "are well advanced," according to Adrian Proszenko of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The Dodgers' "likely opponent" will be the Arizona Diamondbacks "for a historic clash" at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The proposed three-game series "will be a huge coup for Australian sport." The games will be televised to an audience of almost 300 million viewers across 81 countries. Furthermore, it is estimated that the event "will attract up to 25,000 overseas tourists and generate A$80M ($82.8M) for the New South Wales economy." Destination NSW, MLB and Australian Baseball League officials "have been working on the project for several years, but the identity of teams has been a heavily guarded secret." However, Sydney Blue Sox Chair Bob Turner "let it slip at his team's season launch." Turner said, "If we can get Major League Baseball's season opener, which we're working on, in a couple of years' time at the SCG, it will really put the game on the map." Sports event marketing firm Moore Sports Dir Jason Moore "has been in negotiations to make the series happen for six years." He "hopes the deal will be signed by the end of the year" (SMH, 10/25).