We have some more information on venues and timing of the 2013 World Baseball Classic, the tourney held during spring training, with games set for Chase Field, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick and Marlins Park.
The tournament will launch March 2 -- right after the beginning of spring-training games -- with games in Tokyo and Taiwan. Japan, which has hosted a first-round pool at the Tokyo Dome in each of the previous two World Baseball Classics, will be home to first and second round pools in 2013. Opening round contests in Pool A will be held in Fukuoka at the Fukuoka Yahoo! Japan Dome from March 2-6, featuring host Japan, China, Cuba (pending license approval) and a Qualifier winner to be determined.
Taichung, Taiwan will make its debut as a host city for World Baseball Classic games, holding contests in Pool B at Intercontinental Stadium from March 2-5. The venue will feature Australia, Korea, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and a Qualifier winner to be determined.
San Juan, Puerto Rico will host World Baseball Classic games for the third consecutive time at Hiram Bithorn Stadium after hosting a first and second round pool in 2006, and a first round pool in 2009. Games in Pool C, being played from March 7th-10th, include host Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and a Qualifier winner to be determined.
Chase Field and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Arizona, which were previously announced as first round venues, will host the teams in Pool D from March 7-10. Teams competing in the pool include host United States, Italy, Mexico and a Qualifier winner to be determined.
Second round games will return to the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan from March 8-12, and will feature the winners and runners-up from Pool A and Pool B, while Marlins Park in Miami will host the winners and runners-up from Pool C and Pool D from March 12-16.
San Francisco's A&T Park will host the semi-finals and championship game of the 2013 World Baseball Classic from March 17-19 in its debut as a host city for the event, succeeding San Diego's PETCO Park (2006) and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles (2009) as the host of the Semi-Finals and Final. AT&T Park, which is currently in its 13th season as the home of the Giants, has hosted Major League Baseball's 2007 All-Star Game and the World Series in 2002 and 2010.
The first round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic will once again feature a round-robin format with each team playing each of the other teams in their pool once, totaling six games played at each venue. The top two teams in each pool will advance to the second round, which features a modified double-elimination format, also totaling six games at each venue. The winners and runners-up from each second round venue will advance to the single-elimination championship round at AT&T Park, which will consist of semi-final contests on Sunday, March 17 and Monday, March 18 and the final on Tuesday, March 19.