Different countries have different favourites when it comes to sports. There are a few of them every country agrees on, of course – think soccer, Formula 1, and other popular disciplines – but there are many that are only truly loved in some countries. And baseball is one of them according to some of the top recommended Casinos.
It’s not that it doesn’t have international fans. Even Betway Thailand routinely lists Red Sox games, showing that people are indeed interested in this beautiful sport. But it never really took off in European countries. The question is, will Europeans – who are otherwise truly big on sports – ever grow to love Baseball?
One of many
The problem with Europe, in general, is that it has a huge variety of popular sports to choose from. While soccer is, indeed, the number one sport in the Europeans’ preferences, there are many others that are followed by the masses – think tennis, water polo, basketball (which is quite big across Europe), and ice hockey.
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These all have their devout fan base – and introducing a different team-based sport is not an easy task when the fans’ hearts are already saturated.
It’s a newcomer
Most European sports have been around for centuries. Soccer, the dominant sport of the continent, has been around in its current form since the mid-19th century, tennis was introduced in 1873, ice hockey was first played around the same time. But these dates all refer to the introduction of these sports in their modern form – their precursors have been played across Europe for much longer.
Baseball, from this point of view, is a relative newcomer – in Europe, that is. The first European Baseball Championship was held in Belgium in 1954 and it was won by Italy’s national team. By that time, local sports have already become codified and professional, dominating the market.
Baseball is not the only American sport that failed to win over European fans: the first professional football (called American football over there) team was formed in the 1970s. While it is a growing phenomenon in Europe, it’s still far less popular than rugby football – not to mention soccer.
One of the things that make soccer a very popular sport is the fact that there’s constant action on the turf. Players are always running, kicking, attacking and defending their goal. This can’t be said about baseball (or cricket, for that matter). Soccer “spoiled” European audiences with its fast pace and relatively short matches (90 minutes as opposed to baseball’s average of three hours) and constant action, so many European sports fans simply find baseball to be boring.
It’s missing from the media
Finally, here’s one reason why baseball hasn’t taken off in Europe: the lack of extensive media coverage. Actually, it’s a snake biting its own tail: as the sport is not very popular, sports channels don’t make too much effort to cover it – and since it doesn’t have the extensive media coverage it deserves, baseball fails to win over new fans.
Baseball is an integral part of the American culture – not so much in Europe. While the MLB did make an effort to “export” the sport to Europe – think of the MLB London Series, for example, where the Red Sox played against the Yankees at the London Stadium in 2019 – it’s yet to be fruitful.