Posts Tagged ‘venues’

Dodger Stadium to host WBC finals

Once the host of 1984 Olympic Baseball Games, Dodger Stadium will be host of semifinal and final of 2009 World Baseball Classic.

With an official announcement, Dodgers owner Frank McCourt confirmed that his home ballpark will host the semifinals on March 21-22, with the championship game set for March 23.

“We are excited and honored to be hosting the championships of the 2009 World Baseball Classic,” McCourt said. “We have embraced the international game for a long time and it is only fitting that we open the gates to Dodger Stadium to the fans from all around the world.” “We think the final games of the 2009 World Baseball Classic will be the biggest international event in the history of baseball.”

Of course, it will help McCourt to earn more money, due to the three-day competition at Dodger Stadium will mean more than $50 million of economic activity.

Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully said.

“Today is no accident. The Dodgers have been involved internationally in spreading the gospel of baseball for over 50 years,” “The fact that baseball has come to Dodger Stadium in so many ways, it’s only natural.”

MLB president and chief operating officer Bob DuPuy said:

“Given what the Dodgers organization has meant internationally and given the city, the diversity and the culture, the languages spoken and the weather, it is a natural fit,”

“Los Angeles is one of the most international cities in the world and the Dodgers have always been at the forefront of the international movement,” “The diverse makeup of the community was also a consideration in making this award.”

Gene Orza, chief operating officer of Major League Baseball Players Association, said:

“It is inevitable that we would be in Los Angeles for the semifinals and finals. There is no city that has the mix of the things that we need. Weather, fan base and diversity,” “This organization is truly a leader in the whole idea of how global the reach of baseball is. The Dodgers have been at the forefront of the internationalization of the sport.”

“The real test of the games was not how many fans that showed up. It was the degree that players that played in it wanted to play in it again, but also the players that didn’t play in it wanted in,” “Since 2006, I’ve had players want to play in it again or asking to keep them in mind.”

Japan, which defeated Cuba, 10-6, in the 2006 World Baseball Classic final, will defend its crown. The Classic likely will expand its field for the 2013 event, with 24 teams a probable goal.

“After the 2006 tournament, it was only days later that I was receiving letters from other federations around the world that wanted to be in,” said Paul Archey, MLB senior vice president of baseball operations.

DuPuy said twice as many cities submitted bids to be one of the host venues for next year’s Classic, more than 20 venues were considered for the semifinals and finals, and added there may be a consideration of an Asian city hosting the final rounds at a future date.

Attendance figures for the 2006 Classic was more than 740,000 fans from 48 of the 50 states and 15 countries. There were also 486 players that participated with 235 of those from Major League organizations.

Petco Park and Dolphin Stadium to host second round

During a press conference in Los Angeles, it was announced that the Marlins’ home – Dolphin Stadium will be one of the hosts for the two pools of Round 2 in the 2009 World Baseball Classic from March 14-19 of next year. PETCO Park in San Diego, Calif., will serve as the other host.

“Dolphin Stadium and PETCO Park will provide strong international venues for Round Two of the tournament. Baseball fans across the globe will have the exciting opportunity to experience these three exceptional settings during the world’s premier international baseball tournament,” said Bob DuPuy, President and COO, Major League Baseball.

“For us to get the second round, we’re getting some really good teams,” said Claude Delorme, senior vice president of stadium development for the Marlins. “It’s going to be great games in our pool, and with the international diversity of South Florida, a lot of people are going to see their countries play, whether it’s the Dominican or Venezuela, Puerto Rico, U.S.A, Canada.

“People are going to come out and watch these games, and the passion for their country will certainly be on display.”

For the Marlins, it was a much-needed step in the right direction in the hopes of opening a new stadium in 2011, especially in the wake of a Ramirez deal gone awry, a lawsuit pending on the stadium plan and another year of league-low attendance.

“I think by baseball selecting us, it’s sending a nice message to everybody about how strongly they feel about Miami and the support we have for baseball,” said Delorme, a day after the Marlins drew 20,000-plus fans three weekday nights in a row when the Mets were in town. “I think it exemplifies MLB’s dedication to Miami, and I think it’s a great step for us.”

With the prominence of Hispanic culture in South Florida, a tournament with numerous Latin American countries being played in Miami was pretty much a no-brainer.

“I think it’s huge,” Delorme said. “We have to sell baseball at the grassroots level, and our fan base has to grow significantly by the time we get into the new facility. And the more people who are exposed to baseball, I think it helps us sell the game to people and helps people become a fan of baseball.”

“I was confident that we had a really good chance just because the efforts and the quality of our proposal, both financially and with the detail we attended to it,” Delorme said. “This is the gateway to the Americas, and I think it was a natural destination for MLB.”

And The World Baseball Classic will return to Petco Park from March 15 through 19, 2009. Petco, the site of the inaugural event’s semifinals and final in 2006, will house second-round games involving the four advancing teams from pools A and B.

“We are thrilled that the World Baseball Classic is returning to San Diego,” said Padres CEO Sandy Alderson.

Japan, Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico to host first round

Yes, the stadium to play first round of 2009 World Baseball Classic is decided.

As in 2006, Tokyo Dome and Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico, will host first-round games. In 2009, those venues will be joined for the first time by Rogers Centre in Toronto and Foro Sol Stadium in Mexico City.

Rogers Centre is the home ballpark of the Blue Jays, and Major League Spring Training exhibition games have been played at the 27,940-seat facility in Foro Sol Stadium in Mexico City.

The 16-team field is the same as ’06, though an expansion of the field to 24 countries and territories with qualifying rounds as a preface to reach the main competition is under consideration for 2013.

Next year’s brackets are as follows:

Pool A — China, Chinese Taipei, Japan and Korea will begin play on March 5 in Tokyo Dome.

Pool B — Australia, Cuba, Mexico and South Africa, from March 8-12 in Mexico City.

Pool C — Canada, Italy, the U.S. and Venezuela, from March 8-12 in Toronto.

Pool D — Dominican Republic, the Netherlands, Panama and Puerto Rico, from March 7-11 in Puerto Rico.

Venues for the second round, plus the combined semifinals and finals are still to be determined.

The semifinals and finals were sold out at San Diego’s 45,000-seat home of the Padres in 2006. Japan vanquished Cuba, 10-6, to win the tournament and Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, who now toils for the Red Sox, was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

Attendance for the ’06 tournament at its seven venues was 737,112 tickets sold, a major coup considering that the Asian bracket didn’t reach the 80 percent capacity in Tokyo Dome that was originally projected.

Several important figure and host representative has talked about 2009 World Baseball Classic:

Allan H. (Bud) Selig, Major League Baseball Commissioner, said:

“The 2009 World Baseball Classic will further demonstrate the remarkable global growth of our game,” “There has been incredible demand to host the games of the second World Baseball Classic, and we are pleased to have four international destinations as our first-round venues. We are excited about the 2009 World Baseball Classic and look forward to next March.”

Don Fehr, the executive director of the Players’ Association, said:

“The best baseball players in the world are looking forward with great anticipation to playing in the 2009 World Baseball Classic,” “Implementation of double-elimination and crossover games to the World Baseball Classic next year will make the games even more intense and the tournament even more exciting for both players and fans. It will be an unforgettable experience.”

Dr. Harvey Schiller, President, International Baseball Federation (IBAF), said:

“On behalf of the entire IBAF membership, we are excited to once again participate in this important event. The cooperation between IBAF, Major League Baseball, and the Major League Baseball Players Association is at an all time high. We all look forward to this event as a prelude to our return to the Olympic program in 2016 and beyond.”

Takuo Takihana, Chairman, The Yomiuri Shimbun, remarked:

“Since The Yomiuri Shimbun hosted the first US-Japan All-Star Tour in 1931, and invited Babe Ruth to Japan in 1934, we have dedicated our soul to spread this wonderful sport of baseball throughout the world. It is our great honor to be named the host of the Round One games in Tokyo once again, following 2006. With pride, as the largest selling newspaper company in the world, with a daily circulation of 10 million copies per day, we promise you to stage a supreme baseball event.”

Carlos Hermosillo Conade, Minister of Sport of Mexico, said:

“The government of Mexico, under President Felipe Calderón, is committed to working with the businesses of our country to bring international events like the World Baseball Classic to Mexico to demonstrate our hospitality, culture and organizing capabilities. We have worked very closely with ALHÜVA Entretenimiento, represented by the enthusiastic sports promoter Alejandro Hütt, and Mexico City is very excited to be host of Round 1 games at Foro Sol Stadium. For the enormous baseball fan base in our country, it will be especially exciting to be able to see the Mexican National Team filled with MLB stars compete in Mexico for the first time ever.”

Paul Godfrey, President and CEO, Toronto Blue Jays and Rogers Centre, added:

“This is a world class event for Rogers Centre and the City of Toronto. What better place to hold the World Baseball Classic than in a city that has such a strong international reach? The raised global profile of the tournament, along with the great performance of teams from the United States, Venezuela, Italy and our own Team Canada, will make these games most exciting as fans will see their favorite players demonstrate an unprecedented level of passion and dedication to their national teams.”

Antonio Muñoz, MB Sports Chairman of the Board, said:

“Over the years, we have brought to Puerto Rico the best baseball there is, including the historic games of the inaugural World Baseball Classic. We are very proud to once again be selected to host the world’s premier international baseball tournament and expect Hiram Bithorn Stadium to be a showcase for thrilling match-ups between the Dominican Republic, the Netherlands, Panama and our home team representing Puerto Rico.”

About World Baseball Classic, Inc.
World Baseball Classic, Inc. is a company created at the direction of Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) to operate the World Baseball Classic tournament. The tournament, which is sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF), is supported by MLB, the MLBPA, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), their respective players associations and other leagues and players from around the world.

About the World Baseball Classic
The World Baseball Classic is the premier international baseball tournament, sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation, and features the best players in the world competing for their home countries and territories. In March 2006, 486 players – 235 of them from MLB organizations – representing 16 teams from across the globe competed in the inaugural event. More than 740,000 fans from 48 states and 15 countries attended games and millions more watched on TV as Team Japan was crowned the first-ever World Baseball Classic Champion. Broadcast by 48 media outlets in 10 languages to 205 countries and territories around the world, the inaugural tournament had 50 official sponsors and 21 official licensees. Media members representing 25 different nations attended the 39 games in seven host venues across three countries/territories. The next tournament will be held in March 2009 and will again feature 16 of the greatest baseball-playing nations in the world. The tournament will be held every four years thereafter, with plans in place to expand the participant field beginning in 2013.

Canada may host some WBC games

Although there are at least one year away, the World Baseball Classic is preparing to show up again.

First, decide which field to play is quite important, according to the source told the Canadian Press, Canada is a “strong possibility” to host one of the four groups in first-round play at the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

The group, which would include the powerhouse United States, will play its games at the Rogers Centre, home of the Toronto Blue Jays (Due to the weather condition I think). And the other three groups could be Tokyo, Mexico City and San Juan, Puerto Rico, which could let the first round to be all-international.

The second and final rounds would revert back to the United States, where most of the inaugural Classic back in 2006 was played. Currently site running include Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, Minute Maid Park in Houston, AT&T Park in San Francisco, Chase Field in Phoenix and 2006 WBC final game host, Petco Park in San Diego.

An official announcement is likely to come in March.

Last time in World Baseball Classic, Canada posted a thrilling 8-6 upset of the Americans at Chase Field on March 8, 2006, which is one of the biggest wins in Canada National team history – but due to 9-1 lost to Mexico in the third game, it let Canada, America, Mexico tied at 2-1, but due to the tie-breaking formula, Canada did not advance to the second round.

In the 2009 tournament, Canada and the America are likely to be joined by a Latin American country and a non-traditional baseball country. That would once again leave the Canadian in tough to advance, although their team this time around has the potential to be much stronger than the ’06 club.

All-star catcher Russell Martin of Chelsea, Que., and pitchers Rich Harden of Victoria, Ryan Dempster of Gibsons, B.C., and Eric Gagne of Mascouche, Que. and starters Jeff Francis of North Delta, B.C., and Adam Loewen of Surrey, B.C., all took a miss last time because of injury or team issues.

2006 AL MVP Justin Morneau of New Westminster, B.C., and two-time all-star Jason Bay of Trail, B.C. and Erik Bedard of Navan, Ont., have all advanced in their careers and are much stronger now, which could be the nightmare for any teams within their group.

I can’t wait for World Baseball Classic 2009.

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