09/29/2005 4:00 p.m. ET
San Diego to host World Baseball Classic semi-finals and final
World Baseball Classic Inc., a partnership between Major League Baseball
(MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), announced
today that the San Diego Padres have been awarded the semi-final and final
games of the inaugural World Baseball Classic. The Padres will host the
three games at PETCO Park from March 18-20, 2006.
The World Baseball Classic, a 16-team tournament sanctioned by the
International Baseball Federation (IBAF), will feature many of the best
players in the world competing for their home countries for the first time
ever. The 16 teams invited to participate in the event have been divided
into four pools of four teams for the first round of play. The four Round
1 pools are scheduled to be played at venues in Asia, Latin America and the
United States. Round 2 will feature two pools of four teams each and is
scheduled to be played at venues in Latin America and the United States.
Specific venues for Rounds 1 and 2 will be announced shortly.
“I am thrilled that the semi-finals and final of this exciting new event
will be held at such an outstanding location,” said Major League Baseball
Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “San Diego is one of America’s most
beautiful cities, and the Padres have one of baseball’s finest facilities
in PETCO Park. Baseball fans all over the world will be treated to an
ideal environment for the culmination of the World Baseball Classic.”
"We are delighted the Padres have agreed to make PETCO Park available to
host the semi-finals and final of the first World Baseball Classic," said
MLBPA Executive Director, Donald M. Fehr. "The Club's interest in
expanding the international reach of baseball has been a long-standing one,
and its enthusiasm for the event will be a major factor in its success.
And the Park itself will ensure a wonderful experience for everyone,
players and fans alike."
“We are very excited about bringing the greatest players in the world to
San Diego to compete for their national teams,” said Sandy Alderson, Chief
Executive Officer of the Padres. “The city of San Diego has successfully
hosted many world class sporting events. With the city’s unique location
so close to Mexico, and with an enthusiastic baseball fan base on both
sides of the border, San Diego and PETCO Park are a perfect site for this
The Padres have been at the forefront of Major League Baseball’s
international expansion. The Padres were the first team to host regular
season games beyond the United States or Canada when it hosted “La Primera
Serie,” a three-game series in Monterrey, Mexico, August 16-18, 1996. The
Club also played the first regular season games ever in Hawaii in 1997. In
1999, the team hosted the season opener against the Colorado Rockies in
Monterrey, Mexico. The Padres have also been a leader in reaching out to
Hispanic audiences, including the publishing of baseball’s first complete
media guide in Spanish in 1998.
PETCO Park, San Diego’s first facility designed specifically for
baseball, opened in 2004 and attracted a club-record total of 3,016,752
fans and nearly 6,000,000 over its first two seasons. The open-air
ballpark located in the East Village of downtown San Diego has 42,500 fixed
seats and standing room locations for approximately 1,500 spectators.
PETCO Park also features the “Park at the Park,” a ticketed area on game
days that serves as a special events venue and a neighborhood park when the
Padres are not playing at home. The ballpark offers excellent sightlines
to the field and spectacular views of the city, including San Diego Bay,
the Coronado Bridge, the downtown skyline, Balboa Park, the Embarcadero,
mesas and mountains to the east and the hills of Tijuana to the South.
With a blend of modern amenities and a classic baseball feel, PETCO Park’s
contemporary design includes gardens both inside and outside the park and
incorporates the historic Western Metal Supply Company Building into the
left field corner.