Major League Baseball opens its season in Australia this year, and Sydneysiders readying for game day will have the opportunity to connect with industry professionals and baseball experts thanks to the Australian Baseball League, The United States Studies Centre, and online publication Sports Business Insider.
“Bases Loaded: The future of baseball and the MLB in Australia” will bring together key speakers to explore the MLB’s majority share in Australia’s baseball setup, and what this means for the future of the ABL, brand strategy, and player development pathways.
The event, to be held at the Hotel CBD in Sydney on 5 March, will also cover the business side of the monumental Opening Series in Australia, including the opportunities and challenges presented by hosting an event of such a large magnitude, from infrastructure, tourism, and broadcasting, through to branding, logistics, game development, and economic benefits.
Among the confirmed speakers are Tom Nicholson, the Australia and Oceania director of Major League Baseball International, and Peter Wermuth, the CEO of the Australian Baseball League, with more to be announced.
The event is supported by the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, which aims to increase understanding of the United States in Australia and further afield.
US Studies Centre CEO Bates Gill said he was pleased to support the ABL’s efforts to bring focus to baseball in Australia in the lead-up to the Sydney contest between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“Speaking for the Centre — and as a long-time player and fan of baseball myself — we are proud to promote interest and understanding of America’s national pastime in Australia. The game is gaining in popularity across the country and the Opening Series and related events are great opportunities for the game to build its presence even more Down Under.” Professor Gill said. “In the words of the great Chicago Cubs star Ernie Banks, ‘Let’s play two!’”
The ABL is Australia's premiere professional baseball competition, and entered its fourth season in November last year. ABL teams boast elite national players from across Australia as well as Major League Baseball feeder clubs and Japanese, Korean, and Chinese teams.