Major League Baseball said it isn’t in negotiations with the Los Angeles Dodgers or any team to open the 2014 season with a series in Australia.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported today that negotiations were well advanced to bring the Dodgers, owned by a group including National Basketball Association Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, for a possible three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
“We are not currently exploring the possibility with the Dodgers or any other team to play in Australia,” MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said in an interview in the press box at the World Series opener in San Francisco.
The Herald reported that the event would attract 25,000 overseas visitors and generate $A80 million ($82.8 million) for the New South Wales state economy.
Elizabeth Cage, a Sydney-based spokeswomen for MLB Australia, said baseball officials and local promoters had been working on the possibility of staging a series in Australia for five to six years.
“The teams that were mentioned are just two of quite a few teams that have been included in the conversation around this idea,” Cage said in a telephone interview. “We’re optimistic and we keep moving the needle forward, but we’re a long way from actually signing paperwork and making an announcement and having it be a real deal.”
To contact the reporters on this story: Dan Baynes in Sydney at firstname.lastname@example.org; Rob Gloster in San Francisco at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at firstname.lastname@example.org