Major League Baseball has named BrightView Landscapes as its official field consultant to support its expansion to play more games internationally.
Under the agreement, the Sports Turf Division of the commercial landscaping services company will oversee various MLB field development initiatives domestically and abroad. BrightView also performs numerous site and ballpark reviews.
Murray Cook, president of BrightView Sports Turf, said: “Our role as field consultant to Major League Baseball covers various functions for the many initiatives the Commissioner’s office manages both domestically and internationally. The core of our involvement is renovating and managing fields for international events, which can also include designing and coordinating construction projects.”
The MLB’s international department will collaborate with the firm to evaluate potential sites proposed by federations seeking to host games, often featuring future MLB stars. Over the years these site reviews have included the Olympic Games and Olympic qualifying tournaments.
Jim Small, MLB senior vice-president, international said: “Through our relationship with BrightView and Murray Cook, Major League Baseball has expanded our efforts to play games in different parts of the world on big league calibre baseball fields. That relationship will continue this summer when we work with Murray and his team on bringing MLB games to London for the first time ever.”
The landscaping firm has consulted with the league for many years, most notably on field design and construction for games outside the league’s 30 existing ballparks. The projects include the 2016 Cuba Game of the Little League Classic in Williamsport, Pa., as well as a two-game series in Puerto Rico’s Hiram Bithorn Stadium, and MLB’s 2019 Mexico Series in Monterrey.
Cook added: “Major League Baseball has exacting standards for field design, construction and maintenance. These requirements offer a top quality competitive product to baseball fans, while providing a safe, consistent and high performance playing surface for its athletes.”
The company is currently planning field operations for MLB’s first series in London, scheduled for June 2019, at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.