Although there is no decision on where it will be the host of semifinal and final games of inaugural World Baseball Classic, San Diego hope it will be their another opportunity.
“San Diego, in my opinion, should be one of the most logical sites,” Commissioner Bud Selig said. “Houston wants it. I’m sure they want it in L.A. Arizona wants it. . . . (But) San Diego is very, very attractive.” “Absolutely, it’s very much a positive. No one has been as aggressive as Sandy (Padres’ CEO Sandy Alderson) and John (Owner John Moores). There’s no question about that.”
Selig is still awaiting a formal recommendation from MLB Vice President Paul Archey before selecting the stage for the 16-nation tournament’s semifinals and final, scheduled for March 18 and 20. But he confirmed that the diplomatic initiatives of Alderson and Padres owner John Moores on behalf of the game’s globalization could weigh heavily in Petco Park’s favor.
Based on Archey, there are three criteria needed to be host on WBC, Major league ballpark, reduce weather risk and logistically and operationally most efficient. For San Diego’s PECTO Park, its strongest selling points would include its nice weather, its new ballpark, its proximity to an international border and potential second-round sites, and the palpable enthusiasm of Padres management.
“We think it’s a significant event,” said Jeff Overton, Padres’ executive vice president for communications. “Above and beyond the bid document, this is something we care about. It’s about supporting baseball internationally.” “I think John (Moores) believes in the game. I think he really feels strongly about baseball as an entity and a sport. I think the continued development is a real passion for him.”
Unlike some major league owners have reservations about the players’ injury risks in the WBC; Padres view the first World Baseball Classic as a historic opportunity.
Only issue might influence the chance of Padres is scheduling conflict with the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. First-and second-round games are scheduled for Cox Arena on March 16 and 18. The Padres maintain that the overlap is easily overcome, there are more than 2,000 hotel rooms can be made available for baseball visitors.
Archey raised the conflict as a concern but also volunteered that it might be possible to reschedule the baseball semifinals by a day in order to avoid direct competition between NCAA and WBC.
“San Diego is very attractive on a lot of fronts,” Archey said, “but we’ve got to make sure we do our due diligence.” Archey also mentioned eight major league cities have submitted bids to hold at least part of the three-week tournament. The Padres are bidding only on the semifinals and final.
“We feel good about the proposal we made to them,” Alderson said. “I feel great about the ability of San Diego, as well as the Padres, to host the event. On the other hand, there may be other very good alternatives.”