World Baseball Classic coming to AZ this spring

On Tuesday, the World Baseball Classic, Inc. announced their venues, pools, dates and format for the upcoming international tournament coming this spring. Chase Field as well as the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick are two of the venues listed.

The Classic will begin its play on March 2nd with the first round of pool play. The local Arizona venues will host pool D in the first round from March 7th-10th. Pool D consists of the United States, Mexico, Italy and a qualifier winner to be determined. The first round play consists of a round-robin style format totaling six games at each venue with the two teams with the best records advancing.

Other U.S. venues that the Classic will travel too is Marlins Park in Miami for round two and At&T Park in San Francisco for the semi-finals and finals. The final game is slated to be on March 19th. Japan, Taiwan and Puerto Rico will also host games during the tournament as well.

“The national pride that emerges during the World Baseball Classic, not only from the players, but the fans, is awe-inspiring, and we’re excited about the venues and locations selected to host Classic games,” said Tim Slavin, WBCI Board member. “The local flavor in each host venue coupled with the fan support for the nations competing in those locations surely will provide fans and players one of the most memorable baseball experiences of their lives.”

The rosters of the 16 teams to participate will be announced at baseball’s winter meetings on December, 3 in Nashville. Tennessee. Tickets will go on sale the same day.

1.5 million fans world-wide have attended the World Baseball Classic’s from 2006 and 2009 combined. Japan won both years and will eye a three-peat in this being the third year of the Classic coming this spring.

A born and bred Arizonan, Jared has had great passion for the hometown teams all his life. He now channel's that passion into covering the pro, college and high school teams around the state as a Multimedia Reporter for Sports360AZ.