BrightView London Series

BrightView transforms London Stadium into MLB ballpark

BrightView’s Sports Turf team is used to creating the best and even magical baseball fields, and they’ve once again taken their talent across the pond for Major League Baseball’s London Series.

As MLB’s Official Field Consultant, BrightView was called upon to transform London Stadium, home of the Premier League’s West Ham United Football Club, into an MLB-caliber field for the 2023 edition of the London Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs.

Building a baseball field fit for MLB teams is nothing new for the Sports Turf team, but what makes this playing surface unique is the timeframe.

For a typical ballfield to be created from scratch, such as what the Sports Turf team did at Fort Bragg and Field of Dreams, it takes roughly two to three months. In London, they had only 18 days.

“Even though this field is used by West Ham – a team playing in the top tier of English football (soccer), the requirements for the playing surface are much different for an official MLB game,” said Murray Cook, President of BrightView Sports Turf. “For that to occur, we had to grade the field and bring in all new materials for it to conform to MLB standards.”

The material includes 4,000 tons of aggregate to level the surface, more than 144,000 square feet of artificial turf, and 345 tons of clay. Cook and his team are also installing the foul poles, batters’ eye, dugouts, and more.

This is the second time in four years that MLB is hosting a game in London, and it plans to return again. With MLB looking at this becoming a recurring event (another series will be held in 2024 and 2025), having a sustainable field became important.

“Instead of having to bring in all the materials for as many times as the series happens, we are using turf that can roll up in sections, foul poles that can also be taken apart in sections, and all of it — even the clay — stored without being damaged,” Cook said.