Adopt the London look! MLB shows off its West Ham stadium makeover as Cardinals and Cubs prepare for away series TODAY… with F1 stars even batting practice
As Major League Baseball’s London Series approaches, the league has previewed the massive transformation London Stadium is undertaking.
West Ham United’s home has become its own version of a baseball stadium, as seen in drone footage released by MLB Europe ahead of the series opener on Saturday June 24.
Inside the building, the locker rooms have been transformed in the colors of the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals while outside, the foul posts, bullpen and base paths have all been redesigned. been fitted out.
It’s a stunning transformation since Mail Sport visited earlier this month when preparations were still underway.
There have been a few changes from the last London Series games that took place four years ago between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.
London Stadium was turned into a baseball stadium ahead of the MLB London Series
The Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals will add a new chapter to their rivalry
Most notably, the center field wall was pushed back after the two teams combined for 10 home runs when they last visited in 2019.
The big question is whether fans in the UK capital will see more slugfests. New York defeated Boston 17-13 and 12-8 in 2019, more than 18 rounds that lasted just over 9 hours.
“Nobody knows what to expect,” Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. “Nobody expected the ball to fly like it did in 19 and we don’t know if it will happen again.
If so, the games could be long. But that was a while ago and a lot has changed, whether it’s with the stadium or the baseballs. It’s a big question mark.
Cardinals slated starter Adam Wainwright — the Cubs counter with Justin Steele — remembers being surprised when the Yankees-Red Sox opener was 6-6 after one inning.
“Certainly it looks like maybe keeping the ball on the ground might be a good idea,” Wainwright said.
Although even on the pitch – the artificial turf imported from Montreal – can be a problem.
Cubs second baseman Nico Hoerner noted, “The ball flies to BP for sure, and the turf is fast and bouncy.”
Formula 1 stars even took batting practice on Friday – including McLaren’s Lando Norris
McLaren CEO Zak Brown, a longtime St. Louis Cardinals fan, had a few swings with his drivers
But while both teams are focused on chasing the Cincinnati Reds top of NL Central, there’s still an air of spectacle surrounding this event.
Contrary to what has been seen at Formula 1 races in the United States – where American athletes compete in the Grand Prix – key players from McLaren visited the London stadium.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown brought in drivers Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri for batting practice.
“Lando was hitting it pretty well,” said Brown, an American born in Los Angeles but who identifies as a lifelong Cardinals fan.