(Reuters) – Major League Baseball, which already postponed the start of its 2020 season because of the coronavirus outbreak, said on Wednesday it has decided to cancel its planned return to London in June.
The Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals, who make up one of the National League’s most storied rivalries, were scheduled to play a two-game series from June 13-14 at the London Stadium, home of English Premier League soccer club West Ham United.
“We made the decision because it was unlikely the events would go forward, and timely cancellation allowed us to preserve important financial resources,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a memo to employees.
“We also have canceled agreements with service providers and delayed projects that involve large capital expenditures.”
Following games in Mexico and Japan in recent years, MLB made its first foray into Europe last year when the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox took their heated rivalry to London.
MLB was originally scheduled to start its 2020 season last week but has now pushed back its opening day until mid-May at the earliest, which includes the cancellation of games that were scheduled to be played in Mexico City and Puerto Rico in April.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis)