The MLB, for all intents and purposes, is doing everything they can to expand their footprint, either domestically or internationally. As a part of the new collective bargaining agreement signed last year with the MLB and the Players Association, the league has insured that there will be multiple international series games, through the year 2026.

Domestically, it’s easy to understand how home crowds don’t want to see their teams playing in front of foreign fans for the simple reason that it takes away from their chances of watching them. At least with the MLB, not excluding the potential international series, home crowds have 81 chances to see their favorite teams, unlike the NFL, that takes one of their only eight home games away.

As of today, MLB just announced that they will be bringing a series to Paris in 2025 for the first time, where it’s rumored the Yankees and Red Sox would be the two teams. It will be the fifth country MLB has been to since 1996, when the Padres and Mets faced each other in Monterrey, Mexico. Since then, it’s been wildly inconsistent in its appearance, not occurring yearly as it will be over the next five years.

These international series and how their marketed and produced, feel important to the sport and its continuing growth in so many ways.

Here’s a few:

Diversity of the sport

If we learned anything from the World Baseball Classic, it’s that there’s not only baseball players from all over the world, but excellent ones. The Opening Day rosters from last season, that included 975 players, 38% of them came from a diverse background, according to

Baseball, across the globe, seems to have an immediate connection with fans. The only sport more connected worldwide is probably soccer. MLBs popularity seemed never more evident than their recent visit to Mexico City, where the San Diego Padres faced their NL West rivals the San Francisco Giants.

The crowds in the two-game series were electric from start to finish, and frankly, putting a lot of domestic crowds to shame with their enthusiasm. If the MLB is to continue to grow, it seems that their willingness to travel to foreign lands is essential.

Youth inspiration

One of the biggest fears of the sport is that the youth is forgetting about baseball because it’s too slow-paced and boring. While the MLB has made some major adjustments to their game this season with the pitch-clock, larger bases and elimination of the shift, there’s still concern on how they can keep young people’s attention.

What the MLB has done so well at with their International Series is their marketing and television production of it. They’re bringing the players and the moment of being in a unique setting where thousands of people are showcasing their appreciation of the sport right into their own homes in a unique way. They want to remind fans, in particular young fans, how exciting the games can be and how the players can be as youthful as they are in their enthusiasm of playing it. Taking it to another country where it’s appreciated, although odd, is one way of doing it.

Competition with other leagues

Without question, the most popular sport in the United States is far and away the NFL. The MLB is currently still one of the big three with the NFL and NBA, but as mentioned, has been struggling to hold the interest of fans like the other leagues have. There’s reason to believe a lot of that could be due to their global footprint. An international presence is essential now, especially with the influx of social media and streaming services where these countries are not only getting these leagues in their entirety but are getting them at a much more expansive level.

The MLB and NFL are currently trying to play catch up to the NBA, who have established an international presence since 1984, but mainly in the early 1990s. The NFL, on the other hand, while showing popularity with their games in London, Mexico and Germany, have still a ways to go.

The NFL doesn’t have the connection to international fans with their definition of football like the MLB and NBA does with their respective sports. Baseball and basketball and relatively popular across the globe, where American football simply is not.

Uniqueness of the game

The sport of baseball is unique. But one of the things that makes baseball so unique is that of the infrastructures they play in. No one field is the same, in fact, in the modern era, most new stadiums attempt to be as unique as possible with the dimensions of their field. Though there are the issues of having games in the larger venues and adhering to MLB standards, seeing the way the game is played in new stadiums is exciting. Each stadium gives you a different perspective of how baseball is played — even more so from an international venue.