Individual game tickets for World Baseball Classic games in Phoenix, Arizona (First Round) and Miami, Florida (Second Round) will go on sale Saturday, January 26, World Baseball Classic, Inc. announced today. Tickets for First Round games in Fukuoka, Japan and Second Round games in Tokyo, Japan will go on sale February 2. Tickets for Taichung, Taiwan and San Juan, Puerto Rico (First Round) and the Championship Round in San Francisco, CA are on sale now.
The First Round will feature a round-robin format with the top two teams at each venue advancing to one of two Second Round pools. Pool A, which will be played at the Fukuoka Yahoo! Japan Dome from Saturday, March 2nd – Wednesday, March 6th, will include the countries of Brazil, China, Cuba and Japan. The opening game at the venue on March 2nd will feature two-time defending champion Japan vs. newcomer and Qualifier victor Brazil, managed by Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, at 7:00 p.m. (all times local).
Pool B will feature the countries of Australia, Chinese Taipei, Korea and the Netherlands at Intercontinental Baseball Stadium in Taichung, Taiwan from Saturday, March 2nd – Tuesday, March 5th. The opening game on March 2nd will be played at 12:30 p.m. between Australia and Chinese Taipei.
Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico will host the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Spain and Venezuela for Pool C contests from Thursday, March 7th – Sunday, March 10th. Venezuela and the Dominican Republic will square off in the first game in San Juan on March 7th at 7:30 p.m.
Chase Field and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Arizona will host games in Pool D, featuring Canada, Italy, Mexico and the United States from Thursday, March 7th – Sunday, March 10th. Salt River Fields will host the opening game on March 7th at 1:00 p.m. between Mexico and Italy. Team USA, managed by Joe Torre, will debut on the night of Friday, March 8th vs. Team Mexico at 7:00 p.m. at Chase Field in Phoenix.
The Second Round, which will be a modified double-elimination format, will be played at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan and Marlins Park in Miami, Florida. Pool 1 at the Tokyo Dome, from Friday, March 8th –Tuesday, March 12th, will feature the winners and runners-up from Pools A and B, while Pool 2 at Marlins Park, from Tuesday, March 12th – Saturday, March 16th, will host the winners and runners-up from Pools C and D. The winners and runners-up from each of the Second Round pools will advance to the Championship Round at AT&T Park in San Francisco from Sunday, March 17th – Tuesday, March 19th.
Ticket strips are still available to purchase for First Round games in Phoenix and Fukuoka, Second Round games in Tokyo and Miami and for the Championship Round in San Francisco. Ticket strips for the games in Phoenix will consist of either four tickets, one for each game played at Chase Field, or two tickets, one for each game played at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Strips for Fukuoka and the Second Round venues will consist of six tickets, one to each of the six games played in an individual venue. Ticket strips for the Championship Round games will consist of three tickets, one to each of the games played at AT&T Park.
The 2013 World Baseball Classic, which is the third edition of the tournament, features the world's best players representing their countries and territories. The provisional rosters includes 46 Major League All-Stars, six Most Valuable Players and two Cy Young Award winners. Thirty-nine games will be played in seven venues in four nations and territories from March 2 through March 19, 2013. Team Japan is the two-time defending champion of the World Baseball Classic, having won in 2006 and 2009.
For the first time, four Qualifiers were held for the 2013 World Baseball Classic, which expanded the competitive field from 16 to 28 countries. Brazil, Canada, Chinese Taipei and Spain emerged from the Qualifiers to earn spots in the March 2013 event. Those four Qualifier teams will join the teams of the 12 countries/territories – Australia, China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, United States and Venezuela – that received automatic invitations based on their performances in the 2009 tournament.
The World Baseball Classic, which is officially sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF), will for the first time in 2013 be recognized as the official national team World Championship, with the winner being crowned the 2013 World Baseball Classic Champion and the IBAF World Champion.
In the United States, MLB Network will be the exclusive English-language broadcast partner for all 39 games while ESPN Deportes will be the Spanish-language partner.