Press Release Major League Baseball
Major League Games Return to Mexico City for the First Time Since 2004
The San Diego Padres and the Houston Astros will play a pair of Spring Training games at Fray Nano in Mexico City, Mexico on March 26th-27th, Major League Baseball (MLB), the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and the Mayor of Mexico City, Dr. Miguel Mancera, announced today. The games, which mark the first MLB games in Mexico City since 2004, will come just a week after the World Baseball Classic Qualifiers in Mexicali from March 17th-20th.
The “Mexico City Series” and the events surrounding it provide the latest example of an ongoing collaboration between MLB, the MLBPA and the Mayor’s Office to promote the sport of baseball in Mexico. With sell-out crowds expected, and many more fans watching at home in Mexico and across the border in the United States, this celebration of baseball will display Mexico City at its finest.
The Padres, who last appeared in Mexico for a Spring Training contest against the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2002 at Hermosillo, will be making their seventh Spring Training trip south of the border. San Diego also participated in exhibition games at Mexico City in 1972 and 1981; at Tijuana in 1982; and at Culiacan in 1997 and 2001. In addition, the Padres played three regular season contests in Monterrey against the New York Mets in 1996, as well as the 1999 regular season opener against the Colorado Rockies.
The Astros will return to Mexico after appearing in the last MLB games played in Mexico City – a two-game Spring Training series against the Florida Marlins in 2004. Houston has also participated in international Spring Training contests in the Dominican Republic (2000) and Venezuela (2001).
“Major League Baseball is thrilled to be back in Mexico City, and we are particularly excited to showcase two of our Clubs that play in such close proximity to Mexico,” said MLB Chief Operating Officer Tony Petitti. “As we further strengthen the relationship between MLB and Mexico, it is our hope that we can continue to present our game and its bright young stars to the fans of our southern neighbor for years to come.”
“Players on the Astros and Padres are looking forward to playing a pair of Spring Training games in Mexico City and in front of some of the sport’s most passionate fans,” said Omar Minaya, MLBPA senior advisor to the executive director. “The Players have long been committed to growing the global popularity of the game they love, and they recognize that Mexico has the potential to become one of baseball’s hottest international markets.”
“All citizens of Mexico City are excited to welcome Major League Baseball back to our market,” said Mayor Mancera. “These games mark the latest step in our positive partnership with Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association, which started last year with the historic Home Run Derby on the Zocalo. Hosting big events and sporting competitions help generate awareness of Mexico City as a tourism destination and generate new economic opportunities for our great city.”
The two-game series will be the first MLB games at Fray Nano, which is the current home of the Diablos Rojos del Mexico. Foro Sol, the previous home of the Diablos Rojos, had served as the host of MLB Spring Training games in 2001, 2003 and 2004, as well as opening round action for the 2009 World Baseball Classic.