October 25, 2012

Dodgers to Play 2014 Season Opener in Sydney: according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

posted by owlhouse to baseball at 05:06 AM - 5 comments

I will be getting tickets for this, if it happens, but do not necessarily want my home town to be turned into "Dodgertown".

Let us pick our own teams. For instance, I hear the Cubs are on the comeback trail.

posted by owlhouse at 05:07 AM on October 25

How are they going to play baseball on a cricket ground? The dimensions and layout are a bit different to say the least (not to mention dirt for the infield).

posted by flannelenigma at 11:00 AM on October 25

I was thinking the same thing. If they put home plate at the Randwick end (where the biggest stands are), they'll have to put temporary fences up in the outfield, which will be about 3/4 of the way across the cricket oval. This means about 40% of the seating areas (including the members' areas) are going to be useless if you wanted to see the action.

posted by owlhouse at 09:27 PM on October 25

Is there much demand for baseball in Sydney?

posted by Drood at 12:51 AM on October 26

I think so, Drood. There's a big baseball community now, especially at junior level - something we never had whan I was a kid. My nieces and nephews all played from T-ball up but, living outside Sydney, my own kids didn't have a nearby field or team. Australia has produced a crop of major leaguers, and there are a large number of juniors now being scouted and recruited from age 15 onwards.

Spectator wise, they tried a national league a few years ago, but the novelty wore off. The quality might be good, but there probably too much competition from MLB on TV. It's a bit like the A-League, where participation doesn't always translate into crowds for professional games, although the A-league is changing that and now gets more mainstream media coverage. I note that MLB does fund the current national league set up, I think from World Baseball Classic revenues - where Australia competes.

Overall, I think the Dodgers games will be well attended, and the average sports fan in Sydney is open to watching the best in the world. Whether this can progress into something bigger, or if Australia continues to remain a feeder market and supplier of young talent remains to be seen. I suspect that in the long run, MLB may be more interested in the larger, increasingly richer and more baseball oriented market to our immediate north than just the 23 million people in Australia.

posted by owlhouse at 01:05 AM on October 26

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