Former baseball player and entrepreneur Alex Rodriguez believes there’s a good future for baseball in London.
Speaking to the BBC in an interview published on Thursday, Rodriguez, known by the nickname A-Rod, said that “London is open for business and baseball.” He was in the U.K. to promote the first-ever Major League Baseball (MLB) games slated to be played in London starting in the 2019 season.
The games, which will be held on June 29 and June 30, will be played at the London Stadium. The New York Yankees will face off with the Boston Red Sox.
MLB’s decision to bring baseball to London is part of a broader push by the league to expand its presence internationally. It could also prove to be an important opportunity for baseball as it looks to international markets to boost its appeal.
In the interview, A-Rod said that he believes “scarcity” will be the league’s “best asset” in London. Instead of playing a bunch of games in the U.K. next year, fans will only get two, ostensibly boosting excitement for the brand and for the league’s return in the next year. Still, it’s unclear how popular baseball is—and will be—in London.
“I think what you will see is when America comes here,” A-Rod said from London, “it’s going to be like an avalanche of good energy and good news.”