The Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals will meet next year in a continuation of the London Series, Major League Baseball announced on Friday. The two-game series will be played in West Ham's Olympic Stadium on June 13 and 14 of next year.
"The Cardinals are excited and honored to be a part of the London series next year," Cardinals chairman and CEO Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a statement. "The Cardinals-Cubs rivalry is one of the best in sports, and it will be exciting to bring it to Europe for a new audience to experience. I have no doubt that the passionate sports fans in London will love these games and we look forward to creating some new Cardinals fans overseas."
In a statement, Cubs executive chairman Tom Ricketts added: "It is an honor to participate in the MLB London Series and we are happy to support Major League Baseball's effort to promote America's pastime on an international stage. The rivalry between the Cubs and Cards is one of the best in sports and will be a great match-up for international baseball fans to experience in London."
The first London Series takes place this year on June 29 and 30, when the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees will play a pair of games. The encounter will mark the first time an MLB regular season game has been played in Europe.
The Cardinals and Cubs are, like the Red Sox and Yankees, traditional rivals and strong brands with a national following.
"With the historic rivalry between the Red Sox and the Yankees set to play out here in London this summer, it's great news that MLB fans in the capital will have another London Series between the Cardinals and the Cubs to look forward to next year at the London Stadium," said Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, in a statement. "This is the world's greatest sporting city and this is yet more evidence that London is open to hosting the biggest and best sports teams from around the world."
As part of their efforts to grow the game globally, MLB has played regular season games in Australia, Japan, Mexico, and Puerto Rico in recent years. This season the Athletics and Mariners played in Tokyo while the Reds and Cardinals, and Astros and Angels, played in Monterrey. More games outside the United States are on the docket for 2020 and beyond.
Presently, the Cubs are in first place in the NL Central, while the Cardinals are in third place, 2 1/2 games behind Chicago. Both teams figure to profile as contenders in 2020, although there's of course plenty of time for that to change.