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News Every Day |

Reflections On the 2024 London Series

Let’s talk about an incredibly special weekend in London for the New York Mets.

The MLB London Series 2024 proved to be a smashing success for baseball, and the Mets headed home on a high after splitting the series on Sunday.

However, I want to use this space for some reflections on the overall London experience, as I was there for the second game of the series. I’ll give my thoughts on the series in 3 Up, 3 Down later.

Photo by Andrew Steele-Davis

GENERAL THOUGHTS

My overriding emotion from the weekend is just how much of a passion for baseball there is in England. Everywhere I looked, I saw MLB jerseys— and not just Mets or Phillies jerseys, either. No, I saw pretty much every team in Major League Baseball well-represented throughout the weekend. I even saw someone sporting Expos gear.

The combined attendance of over 100,000 for the two games should also hammer home just how hungry Brits are for America’s National Pastime. Put on a baseball game, and the good people of Blighty will come in their thousands.

Of course, the cities of New York and Philadelphia were well represented, with an incredible amount of fans traveling across the Atlantic to see their teams play. It was amazing to watch so many Americans enjoying all the sights London has to offer. I even know of a few New Yorkers who parlayed the weekend into an extended trip around Europe. It felt like a party atmosphere all weekend long, with baseball at the heart of it.

From the takeover of Trafalgar Square on Friday night to the swathe of activity outside London Stadium on both days, plenty was going on for both English-based baseball fans and those who made the long flight over from America.

FOOD & DRINK

The event organizers did a terrific job catering for everyone on the food front. There were a plethora of options available, including designated sections serving food unique to Philadelphia and New York. You could purchase a Philly Cheese Steak, chicken in a waffle cone, New York pizza, and many other tasty options. The Boomstick Hot Dog, a two-foot monster covered in chili and cheese and other toppings, looked incredibly popular. I could see people carrying those giant hot dogs every turn I made. Pastrami sandwiches were also available, offering a true taste of New York. The usual ballpark fare such as fries and burgers, was also available everywhere.

There were a slew of different food options available around the entirety of the ballpark, making the queue times incredibly short and easy. And, while the food didn’t exactly taste the same as it would Stateside, it was a mighty good effort and gave Brits an authentic ballpark experience. For Americans, I think English food, in general, probably proved to be a challenge. For many, Steve Cohen’s comments about food in London being better than the food in New York was the biggest curveball. As someone who has spent time in both cities, I feel confident saying English food overall is pretty bland. You can’t touch New York as a food city. However, to be fair, Cohen probably doesn’t frequent the same restaurants as I do.

My only other complaint was that Budweiser was not available anywhere. For an American sports event, that seems like a little bit of a miss. But, aside from that, a great job was done on the food and drink side of things.

OVERALL EXPERIENCE 

As I mentioned, the entire weekend was enveloped in a party atmosphere. Marching bands weaved their way through thousands of bodies outside the stadium. A DJ blared out tunes to pump up the crowds. There was a boatload of merchandise stands for Brits and Americans to buy souvenirs. Although, on this front, the consensus was that the available merchandise left much to be desired. There wasn’t a lot of choice. Plus, most of the items available featured both the Mets and the Phillies logo. And, for any self-respecting fan, that is just a no-go. There certainly weren’t as many options as there were for the Cubs-Cardinals series last year.

Inside the stadium, there was a real tangible effort to make it feel like a standard MLB game. And it worked. Of course, there were a few oddities thrown in for the sake of the British fan but, for the most part, the sights and sounds were very familiar to Americans. The seventh-inning stretch was a resounding success, and there were mini-events such as t-shirt tosses and mascot races to keep everyone entertained in between innings.

There was no doubt that Philadelphia staged a full-on invasion of London, and Phillies fans outnumbered Mets fans in sight and sound for the most part. However, you could certainly hear plenty of Mets fans in the wake of the double play to end Sunday’s game.

Overall, the entire weekend was just special for baseball fans.

This weekend also proved that the Mets are a global entity. They have an incredibly strong and passionate following in the United Kingdom, and that’s something to be proud of. The MLB London Series 2024 was a grand slam.

The post Reflections On the 2024 London Series appeared first on Metsmerized Online.

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