Dodgers, D-Backs might open 2014 season in Australia

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

Major League Baseball looks to further extend its reach in Australia by bringing a three-game series to Sydney in March 2014, featuring the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks.

Let's put another hot dog on the barbie. A deal is in the works to bring the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks to Sydney, Australia for a 3-game series in 2014. Initially reported by The Sydney Morning Herald, sports-marketer Jason Moore said the potential regular-season baseball affair would be the "biggest sporting event in Sydney since the 2003 Rugby World Cup Final."

Spearheading the effort is Magic Johnson, who has become the de facto mouthpiece for the organization's new ownership group that he is a part of. This deal has apparently been in the works for six years, but has been accelerated by the influence of Johnson's star power and the efforts of the local tourism board. Destination NSW, whose goal is to promote tourism and events in New South Wales, estimates the event could draw 25,000 new visitors to the province and generate $80 million in revenue.

A big question going forward is creating logistics that allow teams to have proper rest and travel time, as not to give their future opponents an advantage over a jet-lagged team. The suggested solution is that the three-game series would played during a six-day stay in Sydney, and that the series would occur before the start of typical regular-season games. This is similar to what Major League Baseball did with the A's and Mariners series that was held in Japan to open the 2012 season.

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