The World Baseball Classic's first round of play concluded on Monday night with a tiebreaker game that saw Venezuela squeak by Italy. If it has seemed like the crowds were bigger this time around than some instances in the past, that's because they were.
The World Baseball Classic’s first round of play concluded on Monday night with a tiebreaker game that saw Venezuela squeak by Italy. If it has seemed like the crowds were bigger this time around than some instances in the past, that’s because they were. In a big way. Major League Baseball announced on Tuesday that the first round drew 621,851 fans, which is a record by a blowout. The previous high came in 2013 with 463,017 fans. Now, it’s hard to compare apples to apples given that the venues change each year, but that’s a 34 percent higher record than the previous one. Plus, those who watched the USA vs. Dominican Republic game saw the largest crowd in Marlins Park history -- and a rowdy and incredibly fun crowd at that. In fact, Marlins Park drew 163,878 fans, which was the highest number for a venue in the first round of WBC play in history. The biggest takeaway: If you don’t like the event, it’s bad news. This thing isn’t going anywhere. The second round has already started in Pool E, with Pool F getting started Tuesday night in San Diego with a game between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. No one dominated their pool more than Puerto Rico in the first round, but the Dominican Republic hasn’t lost a WBC game since 2009. Something’s gotta give in Petco Park, starting at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. local time.
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