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World Baseball Classic grows globally with record-setting 2013 tournament

The 2013 World Baseball Classic set records in attendance, licensing, viewership and sponsorship sales and social-media activity as the tournament continued its mission of growing the sport of baseball around the world. Below are some of the event highlights from the 2013 World Baseball Classic:

Overall, the tournament drew a total attendance of 885,212, which surpassed the 2009 World Baseball Classic top total of 801,410 by more than 10 percent.


  • Tournament attendance records were set in Arizona (first round), Puerto Rico (first round), Miami (second round), and Tokyo (second round)
    • The first-round pool in Arizona, which registered 115,183 fans, surpassed the attendance of the first-round pool in Arizona in 2006 by 26 percent

    • The first-round pool in Puerto Rico registered a total attendance of 95,058, which represents the highest attendance for any of the four World Baseball Classic pools there in the tournament's history. The previous high, recorded in the second round of the 2006 event, was 92,163

    • The second-round games in Miami and Tokyo totaled 325,282 fans, a 58 percent increase over the 206,180 fans that attended second-round games in 2009


  • Several venues registered record numbers for individual games:
    • The Chinese Taipei vs. Korea matchup on March 5 was played before a crowd of 23,431, the largest attendance ever for a baseball game in Taiwan

    • The United States vs. Mexico game at Chase Field on March 8 attracted 44,256 fans, which was the second-most attended World Baseball Classic game ever in North America, trailing only the 2009 championship game at Dodger Stadium (54,846)

    • A crowd of 34,366 fans packed Marlins Park for the Dominican Republic vs. United States game on March 14, the fourth-largest crowd ever at Marlins Park

The World Baseball Classic generated massive television viewership around the world, setting records in countries including the Dominican Republic, Japan, Puerto Rico and Taiwan.


  • Tuesday's championship game was the most-watched sporting event in the Dominican Republic in the past 10 years and the most-watched sporting event in Puerto Rico in at least the past year
    • In the Dominican Republic, the game averaged an 11.2 rating and 39 share on CDN, peaking at a 63 share toward the end of the game (percentage of available viewers tuned in). The previous high for the tournament was for the semifinal win over the Kingdom of the Netherlands the night before

    • In Puerto Rico, the game earned a combined 39.9 rating on Telemundo, MLB Network and ESPN Deportes, with a 64 share. The previous high was for the semifinal win over Japan on Sunday

    • In both cases, these numbers do not include the massive crowds that gathered at ballparks, movie theaters and other large public spaces for viewing parties

  • Japan's defeat of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on March 10 was the most-viewed sporting event in Japan the last 12 months, registering a 22.1 rating and a 43 share, out-rating all 2012 Olympics coverage and World Cup qualifying matches
    • Japan's semifinal loss to Puerto Rico generated a 51 share in Japan, tops among all World Baseball Classic games

    • One-third of all televisions on in Japan were tuned to the World Baseball Classic for the three first-round games in Fukuoka

  • Taiwan recorded its highest-rated cable program in the country's history (15.5 rating) for the March 8 extra-inning thriller between Japan and Chinese Taipei

  • MLB Network's six most-watched non-postseason games are from the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Tuesday's championship game averaged 843,000 viewers, making it the second most-watched non-postseason telecast in MLB Network history and its fourth most-watched game overall

  • Tuesday's championship game was the most-watched baseball gave ever on ESPN Deportes and the network's most-watched live sporting event since August

  • World Baseball Classic games shown live in Canada nationally on Sportsnet produced a 97 percent increase in viewership from comparable national coverage in 2009




  • Sixty-six companies in eight countries sponsored the World Baseball Classic globally or regionally -- up from 56 companies in 2009 and 26 in 2006. The roster included four global partners -- Brand USA (the new tourism marketing organization for the United States), Delta Air Lines, Konami and MetLife


  • Through the first two rounds of the World Baseball Classic, retail sales are tracking more than 10 percent ahead of 2009.

  • World Baseball Classic merchandise from the Japan vs. Brazil game on March 2 set a single-day sales record for the Fukuoka Dome.


  • Fans from more than 220 countries and territories visited

Social Media

  • The 2013 World Baseball Classic generated nearly 600 million social-media impressions, according to Bluefin Labs and Radian 6

  • More than 75 different terms related to the World Baseball Classic trended worldwide on Twitter throughout the tournament. At many points throughout the championship round, every top trend in each participating country was related to the tournament.

  • Posts from the official World Baseball Classic Facebook page generated nearly one million likes, comments and shares during the tournament, and posts from the official Twitter feed were re-tweeted nearly 200,000 times