Margarita Island looks like a good facility.
Margarita Island looks like a good facility.
I hope we can continue to share information and opinions on the 2013 World Baseball Classic, Clasico Mundial de Beisbol.
A recent posting stated Venezuela has submitted a formal proposal to the WBC suggesting that Venezuela's Margarita Island Stadium be used to host a pool in 2013. Is anyone aware of any other nations having submitted a similar formal proposal to the WBC ?
Previous writers on this thread have given bits and pieces of information and opinion on who might host the WBC in 2013. Here is a summary of those opinions. Hopefully others can add other pieces of the puzzle so we can all know more.
Nations which have not previously been invited to the WBC, but may very well be added in 2013 as the tournament expands from 16 to possibly 24 nations, listed by IBAF rankings (I don't know how else to rank them):
# 14 Nicaragua, # 17 Spain, # 18 Thailand, # 19 Philippines, # 20 Germany, # 21 Britain, # 22 Czech, # 24 Netherlands Antilles
Although these nations would not be likely to be a host nation, if for some reason the WBC decided to have some of them host a pool, then the two that might seem to have the best attendance and revenue potential might be:
Nicaragua with Managua's Estadio Nacional Dennis Martinez 30,100 seats and Germany which had much better than expected attendance and revenue for the 2009 World Cup at Regensburg's Armin Wolf Arena 9100 seats (potentially expandable ??? ).
And if somehow the WBC decides to expand further to 32 teams or decides not to invite one of the eight teams above, here are the next eight ranked teams:
# 25 Croatia, # 26 Indonesia, # 27 Russia, # 28 France, # 29 Sweden, # 30 Hong Kong, # 31 Pakistan, # 32 Palau
Nations which did NOT qualify for the Second Round in 2009, and therefore may be expected to host a pool perhaps in the new First Round, or Qualifying Round:
Pool A - China (1-2), Taiwan (0-2) - China has good attendance and revenue potential but no ballparks since they tore Wukesong Stadium down after the 2008 Olympics; Taiwan has great attendance and revenue potential at Taichung Stadium 20,000 seats but a big gambling corruption scandal has set Taiwan back a long ways
Pool B - Australia (1-2), South Africa (0-2) - neither has a large ballpark; unknown attendance and revenue potential; both might choose to use a soccer stadium to host the WBC ???
Pool C - Italy (1-2), Canada (0-2) - Italy has a pro league but had minimal attendance and revenue for the 2009 World Cup; Canada's Rogers Centre dome 50,000 seats was a fiasco for the 2009 WBC
Pool D - Dominican (1-2), Panama (0-2) - Dominican has good attendance but poor revenue potential at Santo Domingo's Estadio Quisqueya 16,500 seats which is reportedly being expanded ??? ; Panama has unknown attendance and revenue potential at Panama City's Estadio Nacional Rod Carew 27,000 seats
Nations which DID qualify for the Second Round in 2009, and therefore may be expected to host a pool perhaps in the new Second Round:
Pool A - Korea (3-1), Japan (2-1) - Japan has won the WBC twice in a row and seems to deserve to host more than just another initial pool; Korea has excellent attendance and revenue potential at Seoul's Jamsil Stadium 30,265 seats and having finished second (6-3) in the 2009 WBC and with the best won-lost record (6-1) in the 2006 WBC seems to deserve to host at least one pool
Pool B - Cuba (3-0), Mexico (2-2) - Cuba has excellent attendance potential but poor revenue potential at Estadio Latinoamericano 55,000 seats in Havana, its communist political dictatorship is not friendly with USA, but its team finished second (5-3) in the 2006 WBC and did well (4-2) in the 2009 WBC; Mexico hosted the 2009 WBC and had poor attendance due to inflated ticket prices at Estadio Foro Sol 20,000 seats in Mexico City
Pool C - Venezuela (3-1), USA (2-1) - Venezuela has excellent attendance potential and unknown revenue potential at Margarita Island Stadium unknown seating capacity, crime reportedly high in Caracas but not on Margarita Island, its socialist political dictatorship is not friendly with USA; USA has numerous MLB ballparks available, revenue potential high but attendance potential questionable based on past attendance in Anaheim good and San Diego excellent for 2006 WBC, and in Miami poor, San Diego poor, and Los Angeles excellent for 2009 WBC
Pool D - Puerto Rico (3-0), Holland (2-2) - Puerto Rico has already hosted three WBC pools, two in 2006 and one in 2009, attendance has been average and revenue potential unknown at Estadio Hiram Bithorn 19,000 seats in San Juan; Holland has unknown attendance and revenue potential at Rotterdam's ballpark called Neptunus Familiestadion 6000 seats which maybe could be expanded for WBC use ???
There have been serious problems with low attendance when there was no home team in the 2006 and 2009 WBC's. I have suggested that two nations co-hosting a pool can significantly increase attendance and revenue potential by reducing the number of such games with no home team. A pool consists of six games. With two nations co-hosting a pool, the number of games with no host team is reduced from three to just one.
Dang, Phil, your posts are long.
The Rogers Centre games were far from a fiasco. I thought it was a huge success, in fact. The place was packed for the USA-Canada game--and the fans were psyched. One of the highlights of the tournament. I'm sure organizers were thrilled.
I'd chalk the poor attendance after that up to the double-elimination format. No one knew for sure when Canada or USA would be playing until results were posted. Clearly, there was little demand for the package tickets that, I suppose, were supposed to boost the attendance of the round.
I wouldn't look to the last WBC's attendance as any sort of predictor of the next. The format could be different, tickets may be priced closer to demand, and, with better advertising and promotion, demand may be higher.
I agree with Natty that the San Diego round was the biggest disappointment. A real step down from 2006. The foggy weather was partly to blame, I think. But who knows?
For what it's worth, I think the likelihood of strong attendance for a round in the PRC is next to nil. The only way Beijing could fill the stadium for Olympic games was by dispatching Communist Party apparachik yell-leaders. And there are zero facilities left over there. Australia, on the other hand, is starting up a new MLB-affiliated professional league and has facilities left over from the Sydney Olympics which could plausibly be expanded to host a round. Plus, there's a small but very passionate baseball following there. Plus nice fall weather in March.
Neither's likely to host anything in the WBC any time soon. And neither is Europe. The WBC organizers are cautious and are likely to go with known commodities in real baseball countries. I'd look to Venezuela, DR, and Korea as the likely new spots.
OK, I should keep my posts shorter. I will do my best. So Rally Monkey, Agente Libre, Natty Baller, Mischa, Paula, Richard, et. al., where would you make corrections to this 2013 WBC scenario for invitees and host locations ?
Qualifying Round Pool I - Taiwan hosts six games at Taichung Stadium 20,000 seats in Taichung; visiting teams China, # 18 Thailand, # 19 Philippines; CO-HOST alternative China co-hosts two games at MLB Baseball Academy Stadium ???? seats in Wuxi with only four games in Taiwan; co-hosting practical but Wuxi may have neither enough seats nor enough fans
Qualifying Round Pool II - South Africa hosts six games at Greenpoint Soccer Stadium 70,000 seats in CapeTown; visiting teams Australia, # 17 Spain, # 21 Britain; CO-HOST alternative Australia co-hosts two games at ANZ Olympic Stadium 81,500 seats in Sydney with only four games in South Africa; trans-oceanic flights between South Africa and Australia make co-hosting impractical, possibly Australia shoudl be host instead of South Africa if attendance projections there are higher?, I don't know
Qualifying Round Pool III - Canada hosts six games at Rogers Centre 49,539 seats in Toronto; visiting teams Italy, # 20 Germany, # 22 Czech; CO-HOST alternative Germany co-hosts two games at Armin Wolf Arena 9100 seats in Regensburg with only four games in Canada; trans-oceanic flights between Canada and Germany make co-hosting impractical
Qualifying Round Pool IV - Dominican hosts six games at Estadio Quisqueya 16,500 seats in Santo Domingo; visiting teams Panama, # 14 Nicaragua, # 24 Netherlands Antilles; CO-HOST alternatives Panama co-hosts two games at Estadio Nacional Rod Carew 27,000 seats in Panama City with only four games in the Dominican, OR Nicaragua co-hosts two games at Estadio Nacional Dennis Martinez 30,100 seats in Managua with only four games in the Dominican; co-hosting very practical and minimizes games with no home team from three to only one
First Round Pool A - Korea hosts six games at Jamsil Stadium 30,265 seats in Seoul; visiting teams Japan, two qualifiers from Qualifying Round Pool I (probably China and Taiwan); CO-HOST alternative Japan co-hosts two games at Tokyo Dome 55,000 seats in Tokyo with only four games in Korea; co-hosting very practical and minimizes games with no home team from three to only one
First Round Pool B - Mexico hosts six games at Estadio Monterrey 27,000 seats in Monterrey; visiting teams Cuba, two qualifiers from Qualifying Round Pool II (probably Australia and South Africa); CO-HOST alternative Cuba co-hosts two games at Estadio Latinoamericano 55,000 seats in Havana with only four games in Mexico; co-hosting very practical; yes I know ticket revenues would be low in Havana
First Round Pool C - Venezuela hosts six games at Estadio Guatamare 16,100 seats in Porlamar on Margarita Island; visiting teams USA, two qualifiers from Qualifying Round Pool III (probably Italy and Canada); CO-HOST alternative USA co-hosts two games at Minute Maid Park in Houston with only four games in Venezuela; co-hosting very practical and minimizes games with no home team from three to only one
First Round Pool D - Puerto Rico hosts six games at Estadio Hiram Bithorn 18,000 seats in San Juan; visiting teams Holland, two qualifiers from Qualifying Round Pool IV (probably the Dominican and Panama); CO-HOST alternative Holland co-hosts two games at Neptunus Familiestadion 6000 seats in Rotterdam; co-hosting impractical because of trans-oceanic flights between Puerto Rico and Holland and lack of seats in Rotterdam
Second Round 1 - Japan hosts six games at Tokyo Dome 55,000 seats in Tokyo; four teams are qualifiers from Rounds A and D, probably Japan and Korea from Round A, and Puerto Rico and Dominican from Round D
Second Round 2 - USA hosts six games at Dodger Stadium 56,000 seats in Los Angeles; four teams are qualifiers from Rounds B and C, probably Cuba and Mexico from Round B, and Venezuela and USA from Round C
Semi-Finals and Finals - USA hosts three games at Yankee Stadium 52,325 seats in the Bronx; four teams are qualifiers from Rounds 1 and 2, possibly Japan, Dominican, Cuba, USA; yes I know it may be cold in New York in March but the cold has never hurt attendance for the Winter Olympics or for the NFL, and it is a FACT that late March temperatures in New York are warmer than those in late October when we have seen numerous great World Series games in the Bronx
Phil -- Without taking a hard look country by country, I suspect you'd need to add Colombia and Brazil and dump two of the teams listed above. There might be other adds and deletes, but these are the main two that come to mind.
Beyond the teams, I thought this was a nice proposal up until the second round. I still can't see Japan hosting second-round games because of (1.) the extra trans-Pacific travel and (2.) the fact it would all but require a much longer break between the second round and the finals than is preferable. Beyond that, the notion of Yankee Stadium hosting the WBC finals in mid-March seems ludicrous. The weather in NYC in mid-March is a total crapshoot, and almost never resembles anything like classic baseball weather. Between the high risk of scheduling problems, the potential fan discomfort, and the fact MLB teams would go berserk at the notion of their players possibly playing meaningful games in wet, 30-degree weather in NYC in March, this suggestion is a total non-starter. I know you have some firmly held beliefs when it comes to WBC host sites, but the Yankee Stadium idea seems like a poor finish to an otherwise excellent outline/proposal.
I think the most fundamental problem I have with your plan is the idea of having cities co-host each round -- assuming I am reading correctly that the alternate co-hosts will be splitting rounds with the hosts. The archetypical example of a successful international tournament is FIFA's World Cup, and I think the WBC should be striving towards consolidation of location for all the rounds of any given tournament year. Splitting them up further only gives more cause for complaint with regard to days off between games due to travel, which Chipper Jones cried his aching bones about last time around. Further, the schedule you presented allows for several co-hosts that involve transoceanic flight. However, I think that you do point out a lot of stadiums worthy of merit for hosting games, and I do think that, while it is essential to develop the consumer base in developed markets to sustain the games, MLB and its WBC associates should strive to locate the games in nontraditional markets that have shown potential, both in terms of baseball following (European BBall hotspots, China) and general wealth (Tons of Latin America). This is only the third instillment of the tournament, though, and I think a cautious approach provides for first rounds in a couple new but safe-baseball countries, say Korea and the D.R., and then maybe give a second round to a non-U.S. spot like Monterray or Toronto. I would support giving the final to Houston, middle of the country and in the South. Problem with Korea hosting is that there will be only one asian first round host (not considering preliminary round, which could go to Korea) and since Japan has proven itself twice it really can't be denied that hosting. They should take it out of tokyo though, put it Hokkaido or Osaka.
And I think a WBC game in a 70,000 seat stadium in South Africa would be a pitiful sight on TV. Dolphin Stadium looked like a ghosthouse and they had something like 20,000 on average. What would South Africa bring? 5000 per? Maybe?
Yeah, I agree with most of what Natty and Agente wrote above. The key thing to remember here is that the WBC organizers are likely to be risk-averse: The tournament will probably not look a lot different than it did the last two times. It's still a young tournament, so there's little reason to shake things up too much.
That means, I think, that any new host sites will likely be awarded based on four criteria: (1) local demand for the product; (2) local infrastructure; (3) the skill and experience of local organizers; and (4) politics. By politics, I mean national baseball associations lobbying of the WBC Steering Committee. That lobbying can take the form of concessions ("We'll pay for x, y, or z if you give it to us") or threats ("It's our turn. If you don't give it to us, we'll boycott.") The DR tried the latter in 2008--which, of course, was laughable in light of their utter inadequacy to meet the other criteria.
Given all of this--and assuming there are six venues hosting opening rounds in 2013--I think the following host countries are likely: Korea, Japan, Canada, Venezuela, DR, and PR or Mexico. Venezuela, DR, and Korea have all been investing in facilities with an eye toward landing a 2013 WBC round. Ansan (between Seoul and Incheon in Korea) has broken ground on the country's first domed stadium, which, as I understand it, will hold from 20-30,000 fans and is intended to be used for the 2014 Asian games hosted by Incheon--and, possibly, for future WBC games. I've read that it should be built by 2012. This is taking place against the backdrop of a baseball stadium building boom across the county.
Meanwhile, the President of the DR announced last year that the national bank will be funding a massive re-development around Quisqueya Stadium in Santo Domingo--including significant upgrades to the stadium itself.
I think both of these countries will expect to be recognized by the WBC for the steps they've taken. They've proven they're world class baseball countries. With world class baseball venues, how could they reasonably be denied a chance to host a round?
I agree with Phil that co-hosting rounds makes a lot of sense--especially if the venues are close by, like DR and PR or Korea and Japan. Too much traveling, however, isn't likely to improve the popularity of the tournament with players, so I wouldn't predict anything like this for 2013 or even 2017.
Because I expect the WBC organizers to be conservative, I'd expect the second round and the finals to be in places with a proven track record: San Juan, LA, Phoenix, maybe Houston. I also predict the finals will be in Miami's new baseball stadium. As I've noted before, the guarantee of hosting the 2013 WBC finals was one of the pitches MLB reportedly made to local lawmakers to get them to sign off on the project.
Last edited by Rally Monkey; 03-08-2010 at 12:58 PM.
One more thing. Natty makes an interesting point:
With a 16 team qualifying round followed by a 16 team first round, you can easily do two rounds in Asia and then have the second round and semi-finals all in the Americas. Basically, a qualifying round seems to add play to the tournament, which makes it easier to give Asia more hosting opportunities and not sacrifice play between East and West. Of course, the fact that neither Korea or Japan will be playing in the qualifying round, if there is one, means that this scenario could work out better for Taipei.
In an additional non-sequitur, sometimes I wonder if Pete Rose wishes he had been born Taiwanese.
Semi-Finals and Finals - USA hosts three games at Yankee Stadium 52,325 seats in the Bronx; four teams are qualifiers from Rounds 1 and 2, possibly Japan, Dominican, Cuba, USA; yes I know it may be cold in New York in March but the cold has never hurt attendance for the Winter Olympics or for the NFL, and it is a FACT that late March temperatures in New York are warmer than those in late October when we have seen numerous great World Series games in the Bronx[/QUOTE]
Stop with the Yankee Stadium stuff. The finals will be in Miami or LA for a while. LA was packed for the finals and there is no need to mess around with horrible weather in the "middle" of Spring Training. And people expect cold at the Winter Olympics. They haven't (yet anyway) even held football's Super Bowl outdoor in cold climates so why make baseball fans suffer. Taiwan loves to host everything, but keep in mind if they somehow got a round it'd be at Intercontinental Stadium and not the 80+ year old Taichung Stadium.
Also, Korea is going to have a new dome done out in Incheon that they would use instead of this stadium in Seoul where the weather could very well be freezing as well.
I would not expect many changes in locations from the past couple of years except maybe Monterrey instead of Mexico City and maybe Incheon over Tokyo although how you take it away from the 2 time champs I don't know.
As I've written before, the only way we see major changes is through addition: if they go with 24 teams and add two more pools in the opening round, Incheon and Santo Domingo would be ideal locations.
From what I have read baseball is much stronger in northern Mexico (Monterrey) than southern Mexico(Mexico City) and maybe MLB wanted more exposure in this region of Mexico. Another round in Mexico would be a good idea in terms of promotiion and marketing. Mexico is a very large nation with many potential customers (cable and satellite packages, Yankees and Red Sox hats,etc.).
Am I the only one that does not understand why the same location cannot host the 2nd, semi, and final rounds? As a fan its too expensive for to travel all across the country following the team. The less I have to travel, the greater the chance that I'll book a hotel for a longer extended stay. I'm all for Folorida alone hosting the 2nd, semi, and final rounds between Tampa's stadium and the new Marlins' stadium.
Even better would probably keeping the final rounds simply in LA between the Angels' and Dodgers' facilities.
As for first round I wish Korea would get the chance to host it finally. I also still hope Canada gets a chance again. The Winter Olympics showed how crazy we are about team Canada BUT THATS WHEN WE KNOW WHICH GAME THEY'LL BE PLAYING IN!!!
Cutchemist, I can understand why a fan would want to consolidate both Second Rounds and the Semi-Finals/Final Round in one place to minimize travel if they want to see all the games. I was trying to point out that Japan drew roughly 50 % more per game to the 2009 First Round in Tokyo than the USA did to the 2009 Second Rounds in Miami Gardens and San Diego.
Has anyone ever seen a rigorous analysis of WBC finances - income and expenses - in either 2006 or 2009 ? Attendance is a matter of public record - total 737,112, average 18,900 in 2006; total 801,408, average 20,549 in 2009. However, I've never seen any published estimates of income or expenses. Nor any confirmation or denial of published accounts that profits are used to help struggling baseball federations where baseball is not well developed; or of published reports that thousands of tickets were given away so TV would not show empty ballparks in 2006 and 2009 in Tokyo for First Round games in which Japan was not playing, and in 2009 in San Diego for misty rainy foggy Second Round games. Are you aware of any such rigorous analysis ? Thank you very much. Phil Lowry
MLB and the WBC did TRY and stoke a bit of rivalry with an Australia-South Africa matchup at the last WBC, but Australia went and ruined the best laid plans by actually being quite good and beating Mexico lol
As for the idea above about South Africa hosting a round, it would never work- You'd have no choice but to hold it at one of the bigger cricket grounds for starters, something the ground authorities probably wouldn't be too keen on
South Africa Baseball-
Baseball World Cup- 9th (1974), 15th (1998), 14th (2001), 17th (2005), 15th (2007)
All-Africa Games- CHAMPIONS (1999 & 2003)
Olympic Baseball- 8th (2000)
World Baseball Classic- 16th (2006), 16th (2009)
Great to hear from avSouth African baseball fan. Too bad to hear you do not believe South Africa could host a WBC pool of Australia, South Africa, and two other teams (Spain ? Britain ? ).
Two questions: First, why couldn't a baseball pool be hosted by the CapeTown soccer stadium which is hosting the World Cup ? Put home plate about 25 meters from the goal line on one side, the foul lines would be about 300 feet, and there would be a spacious outfield. If that were done, what kind of attendance might Cape Town be able of attracting ?
Second question, when South African baseball teams play in South Africa, what ballparks are used, and how many seats do they hold ?
Good luck to South Africa, Phil Lowry
I have a couple of friends who played in South Africa the last couple winters and have some friends on the SA squad. I think people do expect to much about Baseball in SA. They have a couple of talented guys playing but Baseball is not really that popular. The "stadiums" they play in are mostly on a low standard and are soemwhere in the suburb. Just a field, a fence and dugouts - thats about it. For the seating - whoever brings a chair has a seat.
For SA it is that kind of easy to play every 2 years in the World Cup, etc or represent the african continent during WBC because there is not really Baseball outside of SA. Even if an other team would beat them during African Championship this team would have no money to fly somewhere for World Cup.
The only thing you know is you never know and that you know for sure!
I think 24 teams suits the 2013 WBC, so there would be 6 groups with 4 teams in it, 2 teams advance
Teams that has high chances of joining 2013 WBC!!!
Netherlands Antilles (split netherlands)
The organizers of the World Baseball Challenge in Canada have been active and support a participation of Germany for the next World Baseball Classic. They had email contact with a MLB Vice President about this topic. Here is what he answered:
"....They (Germany) are certainly a very promising country and the German Federation is a well structured organization and the National Team a very well run program. You will be pleased to know that they are very much on our radar as a possible country for an expansion slot within the World Baseball Classic tournament. Right now we are still finalizing the exact way in which additional teams will be incorporated into the overall competition but we are definitely committed to adding more nations for 2013....."
The only thing you know is you never know and that you know for sure!
Germany is a must. Colombia and Nicaragua are baseball countries. I would include the Philippines. I think Brazil (there are Brazilian minor leaguers, one of whom just made the Texas League all-star team, large economy) should be included.
Phil, let me give you a couple of updates.
1 - Foro Sol will not be used for baseball after 2010; the Mexico City Red Devils will get a new stadium, this time really suited for baseball. Also Monterrey and Mazatlan could be candidates.
2 - Estadio Nacional Dennis Matinez has been deemed unsafe and seats reduced to 8000, so Panama might hold a qualifier. Nicaragua is owed a chance since 2006 when it agreed to replace Cuba if the U. S. did not allow the island to compete or if the Cubans declined (which was the initial decision, thank goodness everybody reconsidered).