03/30/12 12:20 PM ET
MLB eyes regular-season games in Europe
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
"Certainly, there's a new facility being built in Amsterdam that could work. There's been some talk recently also about a new facility in Rome. So this isn't new. We want to play in Europe, and we just need to keep working at it and find a facility that can accommodate our game."Next up for MLB internationally is the third World Baseball Classic, with an expanded qualifying round slated for September. Armin-Wolf-Baseball-Arena in Regensburg, Germany, was announced as one of the four venues to host the qualifying round, along with Panama, Taiwan and the U.S. It's the first time a Classic event will be staged in Europe. The venues for the remaining rounds of the tournament, scheduled for next March, have yet to be selected. The Netherlands and Italy have long been the greatest baseball powers in Europe, and London has been placed on the MLB map now because of the construction of the new Olympic Stadium, which will host the Olympic Games this summer. A new $20 million stadium being built near Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam may also be an option. "There haven't really been a lot of new advances," Archey said. "If there's anything new, it would be the stadium in Amsterdam that's being built, and we've had some discussions with them. They came over to New York to talk to us about it and expressed their interest in having games. And we're still in discussions with the Players Association about a five-year play plan and international play plan where we can go play in new markets. Europe is a place we want to play, and we'll continue to investigate the opportunities we think could possibly work." MLB began playing regular-season games internationally from Aug. 15-18, 1996, when the Mets played a three-game series against the Padres in Monterrey. The Expos also played a number of "home" regular-season games in San Juan before moving from Montreal to Washington. Exhibition games have also been played more recently in Mexico City.
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. Doug Miller contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.