World Baseball Classic Coming to San Francisco - NBC Bay Area

World Baseball Classic Coming to San Francisco



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    Organizers of the World Baseball Classic gathered outside San  Francisco's AT&T Park this afternoon to provide key dates and locations of  the tournament, which will culminate with the semifinals and final at the  Giants' home stadium in March next year.

    The 28-team tournament's first round, after a qualifying round  shaves the participants to 16, will consist of four, four-team pools, playing  in Fukuoka, Japan, Taichung, Taiwan, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Phoenix.

    Pool play in Japan is March 2 to 5; in Taiwan from March 2 to 6;  and March 7 to 10 in both Phoenix and Puerto Rico.

    The top two teams in each pool advance to the second round, a  double-elimination bracket, with advancing teams in the Japan and Taiwan  brackets playing in Tokyo and the top teams in the other groups battling it  out in Miami.

    Second round play in Tokyo is March 8 to 12 and March 12 to 16 in  Miami.

    The tournament concludes with the survivors from each second-round  bracket traveling to San Francisco for the semifinals and final rounds from  March 17 to 19.

    San Francisco is the third California city to host the semis and  final of the tournament -- San Diego and Los Angeles were hosts in 2006 and  2009.

    San Francisco Giants President and CEO, Larry Baer, said the World  Baseball Classic is one of the "crown jewel events in all of international  sports," which is why they pushed so hard to host the final.

    "We believe that AT&T Park will be the perfect venue to showcase  the best baseball players in the world as they represent their countries and  compete in this one-of-a-kind tournament," Baer said in a statement.

    Mayor Ed Lee sees hosting this international event as a way to  boost the economy for what he calls a "world-class city."

    "To hold this event here is extremely exciting," Lee said.

    The four initial four-team pools were seeded according to the  performances in the last World Baseball Classic in 2009, Paul Archey,  president of World Baseball Classic Inc., said.

    Japan, the winner of both previous tournaments, is the No. 1 seed  in the Japan group; Korea is the top seed in the Taiwan group; Venezuela is  the top club in the Puerto Rico pool; and the United States is the top  country in Pool D, which includes Mexico, Italy and a country that advances  from the qualifying round.

    In 2013, the winner of the tournament will be considered, for the  first time, as International Baseball Federation World Champion. The  federation recently officially sanctioned the tournament with the winner  being the official national team world champion.

    Tickets for the tournament will go on sale Dec. 3, as will the  release of the final rosters. More information on the World Baseball Classic  can be found here.