Mobilization of the largest number of spectators in history Breaking away from
baseball’s image as a marginal country such as Great Britain, mobilizing the largest number of spectators in history
, selecting players from big league clubs, uncooperative
U.S. match change… The ‘World Baseball Festival’ 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC), which returned after six years of operational inexperience,
ended with Japan’s victory. Although it was regrettable that the Korean national team was eliminated in the first round of the finals, this tournament ended with success in terms of box office, setting the record for the highest number of spectators ever.
The WBC, which started in 2006, is the 5th tournament. The total number of spectators in the first round of this tournament was 1,019,999, breaking the record for the largest number of spectators. Compared to the 2017 WBC 1st round crowd (510,056), it is a level that has increased by almost twice.
The enthusiasm of each participating country was also great. Japan’s match against South Korea in the first round of Group B recorded 44% viewer ratings, and the match against Italy in the quarterfinals recorded 48%. In Central and South America, the popularity of the WBC was also hot. In Puerto Rico, a ‘baseball powerhouse’, the viewership rating for the match against rival Dominican Republic reached 61%.
The perspective of baseball in the baseball periphery countries has also changed. The British enjoyed the joy of victory by beating Colombia in the first ever WBC finals, and the British BBC praised it as “the British achieved a historic first victory.”
It is also encouraging that MLB players, who were cynical about the WBC, showed their enthusiasm to participate. MLB ‘Top Star’ Ohtani Shohei (Japan) and American Mike Trout (LA Angels) decided to play early, exciting baseball fans.
But there are still some regrets. Still, some MLB teams are negative about selecting players for reasons such as injuries. In fact, New York Mets closer Edwin Dias, who represented Puerto Rico, and Houston Astros Jose Altuve, representing Venezuela, underwent surgery due to injuries. Diaz has missed the entire season with knee ligament surgery, and Altuve is out for about two months with a fractured finger. From the point of view of the club, their participation in the WBC led to a big loss.
Insufficiencies in the management of the tournament were also exposed. The U.S. recklessly changed the schedule in this tournament,메이저놀이터 including changing the already confirmed tournament lineup to avoid Japan in the semifinals. Even if the popularity of baseball in the United States and Japan is overwhelming and the host country, it is unimaginable in other events such as the FIFA World Cup.
The WBC will return after three years, in the spring of 2026. Attention is focusing on whether the WBC, which is running on the box office track as the competition continues, will become a festival for more people around the world in the future.