Success Of MLB Series In Australia Could Entice NFL, NBA To Bring Games Down Under
MLB believes that the "groundbreaking games at the Sydney Cricket Ground this weekend could pave the way for the NBA and NFL to schedule regular-season fixtures in Australia," according to Michael Chammas of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. MLB Senior VP/Int'l Operations Paul Archey is "adamant the United States' major sporting bodies will be keeping a close eye on the success of this weekend's venture down under as part of a global search for the next region they can grow their game." He said, "They'll look at it and see 80,000 people attending games here on Saturday and Sunday and see that it works." But Archey "insists the ratings back home won't be a factor in determining the success" of MLB's decision to start the season in Sydney. He said, "We don't play these games for the reaction back home, otherwise we wouldn't do it. The success of it will be judged by the impact here and the exposure for the game. Does it give baseball a boost? Does it energize some potential business partners? Does it energize a fan base by introducing them to the game?" Archey: "We definitely hope to be coming back. We wouldn't be coming here and playing this if we thought we were never coming back" (SMH, 3/18).