World Baseball Classic Announces Three MLB Parks as Hosts

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The World Baseball Classic released a press release today announcing that Dodger Stadium, Petco Park and Marlins Stadium will be the American Sites for the WBC. Miami will host pool C, Petco Park second round pool play of the teams that advance from pools C and D and Dodger Stadium will host the Semifinals and Finals.

This will be the third time that Petco Park hosts World Baseball Classic games and the second for Dodger Stadium and Marlins Park. It is also the third time that San Diego and Miami are hosting the WBC. Marlins park opened in 2012 and hosted WBC games in 2013. The 2009 WBC hosted games at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Petco Park opened in  2004 at a cost of $449.4 million and has a capacity of 41,164. They hosted the MLB All-Star game earlier this year and  games in the 2005 and 2006 National League Division Series. The Padres have not been back to the postseason since. Petco Park hosted the 2006 World Baseball Classic semifinals and finals and also second round pool play in 2009.

Dodger Stadium opened in 1962 and is the third oldest stadium in MLB. It trails only Fenway Park and Wrigley Field in years of existence.  Situated in the Chavez Ravine area of Los Angeles, it was built at a cost of $23 million. That would convert to a still relatively reasonable $181 million in today’s dollars. Dodger Stadium capacity is 56,000.

Amazingly, Dodger Stadium hosted its only All-Star game in 1980. It has hosted games in 19 postseasons. The Dodgers won the World Series in four of those seasons. The 2009 Semifinals and Finals was the only previous time the WBC was in L.A. Anaheim hosted second round games in pool one in 2006.

Marlins Park was built for $515 million and has a capacity of 37,442. In addition to the WBC next season, Marlins Park will also host the All-Star Game. A plus is that Marlins Park has a retractable roof. If inclimate weather happens, the roof takes 13 minutes to close.

The United States is seeking to medal in the tournament for the first time. The U.S.’ previous best finish was fourth in 2009. They lost to Japan in the semifinals and failed to win the bronze medal. The U.S. made it to the second round of pool play in 2006 and 2013, but they were eliminated from medal contention.

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The U.S. will be in pool play March 9-12 in Miami against Canada, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic.  It was announced by the United States last month that Jim Leyland will manage team USA. Buck Martinez, Davey Johnson, and Joe Torre managed the U.S. in the first three WBC’s. Torre will serve as the General Manager for 2017.