Angel Stadium to host second round

World Baseball Classic, Inc. announced that Angels Stadium have been selected to host second round games of World Baseball Classic next spring. Angels Stadium will join Hiram Bithorn Stadium as the ballparks for second round games, which will be held from March 12-16.

The World Baseball Classic, a 16-team tournament organized by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF), Major League Baseball, MLB Players Association, will feature best players in the world competing for their home countries and territories for the first time.

The 16 teams invited to participate in the event have been divided into four pools of four teams for the first round of play which played in Asia, Latin America and the United States. Round 2 will feature the top two teams from each of the four Round 1 pools divided into two pools of four teams. PETCO Park, home of the San Diego Padres, will serve as the host venue for the semi-finals and final game of the tournament.

“Angels’ fans are some of the most enthusiastic in all of baseball and have set franchise attendance records for three consecutive years,” Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig said. “I am delighted that we have secured another outstanding venue for the World Baseball Classic.”

“This is a perfect location for what figures to be an exciting quarterfinal bracket, and we’re delighted the Angels organization, an enthusiastic supporter of the Classic, was so aggressive in pursuing these games,” said MLBPA Executive Director, Donald M. Fehr. “Anything, of course, can happen in baseball, but if form holds, the Anaheim bracket promises to provide can’t miss baseball.”

Originally known as Anaheim Stadium upon being built for the 1966 season, the ballpark was renamed Angel Stadium of Anaheim prior to the 2004 campaign. In 1979-80, the stadium, nicknamed “The Big A,” was reconfigured for additional seating when it served as a dual facility for both professional baseball and football. The capacity of the stadium increased from 43,250 to approximately 65,000. After the 1996 season, the facility was restored to a baseball-only design. Extensive renovations, completed by the start of the 1998 season, resulted in a seating capacity of 45,050 and such unique features as terraced bullpens in the outfield, widened concourses, a spacious and modernized press box and broadcast booths, family-oriented seating sections and landscaped courtyards.

“Our organization is pleased to be part of this inaugural tournament,” said Angels’ President Dennis Kuhl. “Angel Stadium of Anaheim will provide an exciting environment for competition that will include some of the finest baseball talent in the world. The Angels and the City of Anaheim look forward to supporting what promises to be five days of exciting and memorable baseball.”

Pool A consists of China, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. Pool B participants will be Canada, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States. In Pool C there will be Puerto Rico, Cuba, Panama and the Netherlands. The Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Australia and Italy comprise Pool D.

Angel Stadium of Anaheim to serve as World Baseball Classic venue
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