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D-backs hosting Round 1 of World Baseball Classic

D-backs hosting Round 1 of World Baseball Classic

PHOENIX -- The D-backs will be one of the hosts for the first round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

The games will be played during March at Chase Field as well as the D-backs' Spring Training facility, Salt River Fields.

"It's really exciting," team president and CEO Derrick Hall said. "There was heavy competition because I think everyone wants to host the WBC now and we were thrilled to learn we were going to host it again. Especially hosting Round 1 makes sense for us because it's likely that we're going to have USA, Mexico and others."

Chase Field was a host site for the inaugural Classic in 2006 and drew large crowds for matchups between the United States and Mexico and the United States and Canada.

"This is a perfect venue for it," Hall said. "There's Spring Training going on here and the fact that we've already handled it so well in the past, Major League Baseball has confidence in us to put on a crown-jewel event like we did with the All-Star Game last year."

When it opened in 2011, Salt River Fields -- which the D-backs share with the Rockies -- quickly became one of the game's finest Spring Training sites, and the D-backs have led all of baseball in Spring Training attendance in the first two years of Salt River Fields.

"Major League Baseball has told us how much they love that facility, the Commissioner tells me how much he loves that facility," Hall said. "For baseball to know they could host games out there and possibly host one or two of the teams out there during training as well, it's an ideal location."

Second-round games will be held at Marlins Park in Miami, while the semifinals and finals will be held at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

The D-backs will have to get Chase Field ready a little earlier than usual, with the games taking place in March, but Hall likes the opportunity to expose more people to what it's like to attend a game there.

"Much like the All-Star Game or the playoffs, it allows people to come visit your ballpark for the first time and hopefully they want to return," Hall said. "They'll come here and see that our experience is unlike any other. I imagine our impression will be as it usually is: a very positive one."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.
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