MLB to host ‘SAD-LAD 2024 Opening Day’ in South Korea in March 2024
Second in Asia after Tokyo, Japan
Two clubs with high domestic recognition
Kim Ha-seong’s ‘home’ Gocheok Dome likely to be hosted
Kim “Happy to play in my homeland”
Pre-match friendly with KBO team expected온라인카지노
Major League Baseball (MLB) is finally coming to Korea. The opening game of the 2024 season of the Los Angeles (LA) Dodgers, a ‘star-studded’ team including Kim Ha Sung’s San Diego Padres and Mookie Betts, will be held in Seoul. It will be the first time the MLB office, which envisions the globalisation of baseball, will host a season opener in South Korea.
MLB.com announced on 13 March that the Dodgers and San Diego will play two regular-season openers in Seoul on 20 and 21 March next year. The venue has not been determined, but given the chilly weather in Seoul in March and the possibility of rain, it is likely to be at Seoul Gocheok Sky Dome. If the two teams meet at this venue, it will be the first time in four years that Kim Ha-seong will play on the home turf of his parent team since 2020. “I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to represent MLB baseball with San Diego in my homeland,” said Kim. “I can’t tell you how happy I am to play in Korea in a San Diego uniform.” “It’s very special to be able to invite my teammates and coaches to Korea and experience this great opportunity,” he added. “I hope to see the Korean fans in Seoul.”
MLB Opening Day has been played overseas on several occasions. Since its inception in 1999 in Monterrey, Mexico, there have been eight Opening Day games played overseas. Of these, Seoul is the second to be held in Asia after Tokyo, Japan.
In recent years, MLB games have been held abroad more frequently. Baseball has been called the national sport of the United States, but it has been criticised for lagging behind globalisation. In response, the MLB office is trying to increase global interest in the sport by hosting MLB games overseas and the World Baseball Classic (WBC). In particular, as the National Football League (NFL) has successfully held the NFL International Tournament in Mexico and the United Kingdom, the MLB office is striving to put baseball on the list of ‘global sports’ by holding not only the opening game overseas but also in-season games in Europe through the ‘London Series’ since last year.
The opening game in Korea is a similar effort. The two teams facing off in Seoul have both been chosen for their popularity in the country. Kim Ha-sung’s San Diego games are broadcast live in Korea. The Dodgers are no stranger to Korea, having been home to the first Korean major leaguer, Park Chan-ho, as well as Choi Hee-seop, Seo Jae-ng, and Ryu Hyun-jin (Toronto Blue Jays).
Baseball fans will have a chance to see advanced baseball, and the two teams will be in Korea for as little as four to five days before the opening game. In the previous six events held in Tokyo, Japan and Sydney, Australia, the participating teams arrived in Korea up to a month before the game to prepare for the new season. During this time, the clubs are likely to request practice games with domestic teams to maintain a sense of urgency. The KBO team will face off against the MLB team in a game. The pitch clock and video replay system will also be introduced to comply with MLB regulations.
The KBO also plans to schedule the 2024 season’s exhibition games by comprehensively considering the MLB office’s schedule for next season’s exhibition games as well as the two teams’ visit schedules. A KBO official said, “It is possible to play a friendly game against a domestic professional team only if the MLB team requests it,” but added, “We will consult with the MLB office once we have a specific schedule to create a good event.”