January 26, 2016 / 6:53 PM / 3 years ago

MLB keen on playing its first game in London in 2017

Oct 22, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; MLB commissioner Rob Manfred speaks at a press conference before game two of the 2014 World Series between the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Major League Baseball wants to showcase the sport in London and is working toward playing its first regular-season game in the English capital next year, the league said on Tuesday.

MLB, which has opened its season in a non-traditional market abroad seven times, would not confirm specific details mentioned in a report on its website that stated any games in London are expected to be part of a mid-season trip.

“We are very interested in playing there, and we’re working hard on that one,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in the report. “I don’t think it will be an opener because of the weather issues. It would be later in the season.”

MLB opened its 2014 season in Sydney, Australia, where the Los Angeles Dodgers played the Arizona Diamondbacks, and has previously launched seasons with games in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Tokyo, Japan.

Should MLB play a regular season game in London it would be following in the footsteps of the National Football League and National Basketball Association.

The NFL has played at least one regular-season game in London since 2007 and currently has an agreement to keep playing there through 2020, while the NBA played its sixth regular-season game in London earlier this month.

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Larry Fine

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