In 2013, international baseball competition is coming to San Francisco in the form of the World Baseball Classic. On Wednesday, July 25, 2012, Major League Baseball named the three United States host cities for first-round games, second-round games, the semifinals and final of the event. AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, was the big winner of the news, as World Baseball Classic Inc. announced that the Giants will host the semifinals and final of the baseball tournament.
Aside from qualifying round games played around the world, the first-round games will be hosted by the Arizona Diamondbacks at both Chase Field and their Cactus League home of Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Arizona. Second-round games will be hosted by the Marlins at the new Marlins Park.
Since the creation of the event, the World Baseball Classic's host city has always been in California. The inaugural event in 2006 took place at the San Diego Padres' home of PETCO Park. The 2009 World Baseball Classic's semifinals and final were held at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
With some competition from Miami for the rights to host the championship rounds, it makes sense for World Baseball Classic Inc. to select San Francisco, another California city, as the host. Given that Japan has won the first two WBC titles, much of the marketing and interest in the event comes from baseball fans in Asia. With Japan and South Korea being two of the nations with the best chance at making it to the semifinal and final in San Francisco, having the event at AT&T Park rather than Marlins Park is more feasible and convenient for fans coming from those two countries.
For fans located in San Francisco, this is a great coup for the city and Giants President/CEO Larry Baer. "We believe that AT&T Park will be the perfect venue to showcase the best baseball players in the world as they represent their countries and compete in this one-of-a-kind international tournament," said Baer.
As a San Francisco Bay Area native, it is exciting to know that AT&T Park will host the best international baseball competition before the start of the 2013 MLB season. With the elimination of baseball at the Olympics, the World Baseball Classic is the go-to event for international competition and will be in the backyard of all Bay Area baseball fans in 2013.
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- Sports & Recreation
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- World Baseball Classic
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