Padres, Giants to play first series in Mexico City in 2023

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Major League Baseball will venture into Mexico City for the first time in 2023 after announcing on Wednesday the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants will play a two-game series in the capital city in April.

The series will take place from April 29-30 at Estadio Alfredo Harp Helu, home of the Mexican League's Diablos Rojos, with the Padres serving as the home team.

The 20,000-seater venue was funded by and named after Alfredo Harp Helu, a minority owner of the Padres.

MLB has staged regular-season games in Mexico previously, most recently in 2019, but all have taken place in Monterrey.

The Padres were involved in the first series in Mexico back in 1996 and also hosted a three-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers in Monterrey in 2018.

"The Padres are excited to return to Mexico and play in the first regular-season series in Mexico City in MLB history," Padres CEO Erik Greupner said in a statement.

"We are fortunate to have a loyal and passionate fan base in Mexico, and it will be an honour to showcase our team in Mexico's capital city."

The Padres did participate in the opening of Estadio Alfredo Harp Helu in 2019 by facing the Diablos Rojos in an exhibition game in March of that year.

The Giants will be playing an international series for the first time in franchise history, though San Francisco did travel outside the continental United States for a three-game series with the Montreal Expos in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2004.

"It will be an honour to represent Major League Baseball, as well as San Francisco, at historic Mexico City for the first time ever," Giants president and CEO Larry Baer said.

"We look forward to bringing the Giants and Padres rivalry to a passionate sports fanbase, and it will be a great opportunity to introduce the Giants to an international audience to further develop new fans across all of Mexico."

The most recent MLB regular-season games played internationally came in 2019, when the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox held a two-game series in London.

The Padres had a two-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks scheduled in Mexico City in April 2020, though those games were cancelled by the coronavirus pandemic.

MLB is also set to hold a two-game series between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals in London from June 24-25.