London Stadium transformation to Baseball in 35 seconds


The London Stadium was so vast that it required 141,900 square feet of artificial turf, imported from France, to cover it, plus the 345 tonnes infield dirt and clay shipped in from Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania to transform it for MLB baseball.

The 16-foot-high center-field wall will be 385 feet away from home plate — the rest of the walls will measure between four and eight feet. There is also a roof that extends over home plate, so there will be specific ground rules pertaining to balls hitting it.

One unique feature is that home plate will be on one side of the oval — not one of the ends — creating vast amounts of foul territory. Most fields in oval-shaped stadiums, like the old Polo Grounds and Olympic Stadium in Montreal, had home plate tucked into one end, or in a corner.

James Williams, London Stadium’s head groundsman, said that his crew has had to learn many new things about baseball fields.  “We even learned how to roll out the tarp,” he said. “This is definitely the biggest project I’ve ever been involved in. There’s been quite a few sleepless nights.”

This is also the first time the Red Sox and Yankees have played a regular-season game on plastic grass. When the series is over, the turf will be rolled up and stored until next year when the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs play in London.

Thirteen months ago, a contingent of major league officials toured the London stadium to make sure it would be appropriate for baseball. The group included Commissioner Rob Manfred, Yankees and Red Sox owners, and members of the players’ association. One concern was the clubhouses. Soccer locker rooms are generally more spartan than baseball clubhouses, so, swanky, temporary accommodations were built to accommodate the tastes and standards of major league baseball players. Dugouts also had to be built from scratch, along with a wall to separate the players as they enter the playing field.

Below you can watch the three weeks work to transform the London Stadium condenses down to 35 seconds.

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I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called A Blogger on a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at,

I am also the associate editor here at Claret and Hugh.

Life Long singer of bubbles! Come on you Irons!

Follow me at @Westhamfootball on twitter


  • Good Ole Daze says:

    Wow – Alan Titchmarsh and Tommy Walsh HAVE been busy, but I can’t see the decking anywhere … I especially like the bit about the Premiership dressing rooms not being luxurious enough for the players.

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