PIMA COUNTY – Twelve teams from across the world, including Brazil, Germany, New Zealand, and Spain will play at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium, 2500 E. Ajo Way, March 10-26, in a qualifying round of the World Baseball Classic, Major League Baseball officials announced Jan. 28. Winners will advance to the 2021 World Baseball Classic.
“We are excited to bring the World Baseball Classic Qualifying Round to Tucson, Ariz.,” said MLB Deputy Commissioner, Business & Media Tony Petitti. “We would like to thank our host, the Kino Sports Complex, and the WBSC for their support in continuing in their efforts to grow the game around the world.”
The Qualifying Round consists of two pools of six teams. The top two finishers from each pool will advance to compete in the fifth iteration of the World Baseball Classic (WBC) tournament, scheduled for March 2021 (information about where the 2021 semifinals and finals will be played have not been announced). The United States is the reigning champion, beating Puerto Rico in 2017 in Los Angeles. The U.S. team has already qualified for the 2021 tourney, along with Australia, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela.
The World Baseball Classic is sanctioned by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) as the sport’s official National Team World Championship.
“This is a win-win for all of Pima County,” District 2 Pima County Board of Supervisor Ramón Valadez said. “Not only will WBC teams have a first-class facility in which to compete, but our County residents are going to be treated to some world-class entertainment from some of the top baseball talent out there.”
“This is major news for Pima County and our baseball community,” Kino Sports Complex director Reenie Ochoa said. “We’re looking forward to having Kino Sports Complex at center stage of this worldwide baseball event.”
In addition to the prestige that comes with hosting an event of this caliber, the World Baseball Classic will be an economic boon to Pima County.
“This is a huge win for Pima County, the Pima County Stadium District, Visit Tucson and our region,” said Visit Tucson President and CEO, Brent DeRaad. “The teams alone will provide thousands of room nights for our community, plus the event provides an incredible opportunity to attract baseball fans to experience the games along with everything else our area has to offer.”
Pools and teams invited to participate include:
POOL 1 (March 12-17): Brazil, France, Germany, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Republic of South Africa.
POOL 2 (March 20-25): Czech Republic, Great Britain, New Zealand, Panama, Philippines, Spain.
Each qualifying pool will feature a nine-game double elimination round. All games will take place at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium. To see the game schedule for each pool, visit the World Baseball Classic Schedule & Tickets page. Ticket and parking information is not available at this time.