After the first two tournaments took place in 2006 and 2009, the WBC was supposed to be every four years: 2013, 2017, 2021. The ‘21 iteration was postponed by the pandemic and rescheduled for this March, per the collective bargaining agreement reached last year to end the MLB lockout.
The CBA included a 2026 WBC as part of the league’s international ventures, but that was technically a tentative plan subject to discussion. The intent had been to make a more definitive ruling in conjunction with the MLB Players Association after the current tournament.
Given the early success of this year’s WBC — the league cited record attendance in the first round and significant increases in international viewership — MLB and the MLBPA are moving forward with holding the next tournament in 2026.
It’s not yet known how frequently the league intends to hold the WBC beyond 2026, as that will be a subject of bargaining in the next CBA negotiation.