Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico will hosted first and second round of the first ever World Baseball Classic next spring.
Major League Baseball and Major League Baseball Players Association formally announced that Hiram Bithorn Stadium, the same place that ex- Montreal Expos called home in 2003 and 2004 (each for 22 games), will host Group C with Puerto Rico, Cuba, Panama and the Netherlands on March 9-11.
Then top two teams from Group C and also top two teams from Group D (Italy, Venezuela, Australia and the Dominican Republic) will play second round in San Juan on March 13-17. PETCO Park, home of the San Diego Padres, will be the host for the semi-finals and final games.
MB Sports, the same company that ran the Expo’s games in San Juan pass two years, was named promoter of the World Classic in Puerto Rico.
“I am extremely pleased that the city of San Juan is hosting two rounds of the inaugural World Baseball Classic,” Commissioner Bud Selig said. “Baseball is entwined in the culture of Puerto Rico, and the festive, enthusiastic crowds that Major League Baseball has experienced in past games at Hiram Bithorn Stadium will provide the perfect environment for this world baseball tournament.”
“The players association is delighted that Puerto Rico will be hosting not one, but two rounds of the inaugural World Baseball Classic,” MLBPA Executive Director Don Fehr said. “Time and time again the people of Puerto Rico have shown both an enthusiasm for baseball and a respect for those able to play it at the highest level. As the greatest players from around the world gather to play in this historic event, those who play in Puerto Rico will enjoy an experience they will not forget.”