Mexico City to stage first regular-season MLB games next year

Major League Baseball will play its first-ever regular-season games in Mexico City next year, with the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants to meet in a two-game series at Estadio Alfredo Harp Helú Béisbol.

The series will take place on April 29-30, with the games to serve as Padres home fixtures. The Padres hosted the Astros for a two-game exhibition series at Mexico City’s Fray Nano Stadium in 2016, but this will mark the first time MLB has visited the Mexican capital for a regular-season fixture.

The Padres have played regular-season games in Monterrey against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2018, the Colorado Rockies in 1999 and the New York Mets in 1996. For the Giants, next year’s games in Mexico City will mark the first international games in the team’s history, although they did travel to Puerto Rico for a three-game series against the Montreal Expos in 2004.

Estadio Alfredo Harp Helú Béisbol had been due to stage regular-season games between the Padres and the Arizona Diamondbacks in April 2020, but these fixtures were called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 20,000-capacity stadium opened in March 2019 and is located in the Magdalena Mixhuca Sports City section of Mexico City. The stadium features the name of Mexican businessman Alfredo Harp Helú, a minority owner of the Padres whose backing helped deliver the venue.

Padres chief executive Erik Greupner said: “The Padres are excited to return to Mexico and play in the first regular-season series in Mexico City in MLB history. We are fortunate to have a loyal and passionate fan base in Mexico, and it will be an honour to showcase our team in Mexico’s capital city at the beautiful new ballpark built by and named after Padres minority owner Alfredo Harp Helú.”

Giants president and chief executive Larry Baer added: “It will be an honour to represent Major League Baseball, as well as San Francisco, at historic Mexico City for the first time ever. We look forward to bringing the Giants and Padres rivalry to a passionate sports fan base and it will be a great opportunity to introduce the Giants to an international audience to further develop new fans across all of Mexico.”

Estadio Alfredo Harp Helú Béisbol is the home of Mexican League team Diablos Rojos del México.

Image: Wotancito/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size