Global group of nations to compete for Baseball’s U-23 World Title in Barranquilla
BARRANQUILLA, Colombia – The top international baseball competition of 2018, the WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup®, will be staged in the South American city of Barranquilla, Colombia, from 19-28 October.
Amid the excitement of the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla, the World Baseball Softball Confederation today announced that the hosting rights of the U-23 Baseball World Cup 2018 have been awarded to the Colombian Baseball Federation (FCB) in conjunction with the city of Barranquilla and the Atlántico Department.
The newly inaugurated US$ 33 million, 12,000-seat Edgar Renteria Baseball Stadium will serve as the centrepiece of the U-23 Baseball World Cup 2018. The state-of-the-art stadium is being called the “Jewel of the Central American and Caribbean Games” and has taken on the role of South America’s premier baseball venue.
Located approximately 100 kilometres south of Barranquilla, games of the U-23 Baseball World Cup will help to inaugurate new baseball stadiums in Repelón and Manatí, which are part of an US$ 8 million investment in sport by Colombia’s Atlántico Department. Barranquilla’s Santa Marta Baseball Stadium will serve as a main venue. The official venue plan will be confirmed following stadium inspections by the WBSC.
WBSC President Fraccari said: “Barranquilla – the excellent organisers of the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games – have built the premier baseball stadium in South America, and it is the ideal setting to showcase the best under-23 players and teams in the world. Baseball is one of the most popular sports in Colombia, and the Colombian leaders have done a great job expanding the baseball and sports infrastructure in their great country – and the U-23 Baseball World Cup will spotlight this to the world in October.”
FCB President Jimmy Char said: “This is the biggest baseball event ever to be hosted by Colombia and our Federation. We are grateful for the opportunity to host and the confidence bestowed upon us by WBSC.”
Barranquilla Mayor Alejandro Char said: “We thank President Fraccari for the opportunity to host the U-23 Baseball World Cup in October. We are very excited to welcome the participating nations to our wonderful city for this celebration of baseball at the Edgar Rentería Stadium, our new jewel venue that will leave participants and fans in awe.”
Atlántico Department Governor Edoardo Verano De La Rosa said: “We are investing greatly in baseball facilities up and down the state. Our plan is to capitalise on this phenomenon that we are experiencing with the Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla in order to revitalise sport across the state. Events such as the U-23 Baseball World Cup will allow us to continue showing the world a great atmosphere in the stands and on the field.”
Nicaragua was originally awarded the hosting rights of the U-23 Baseball World Cup 2018. Given the current climate in Nicaragua, WBSC and the Nicaraguan Baseball Federation agreed that WBSC would reassign the rights.
Host Colombia granted Wild Card — Global group of nations to unite in Barranquilla
As host, Colombia’s U-23 National Baseball Team has been granted a wild card and is the 12th and final team to enter the race for the U-23 world title.
Advancing through the continental championships/qualifiers, the 12 nations set to compete For the Title of World Champion in Barranquilla are as follows (in order of Continental Championship standings):
- Africa: South Africa
- Asia: Defending U-23 World Cup Champion Japan, Chinese Taipei and Korea
- Europe: Netherlands and Czech Republic
- Americas: Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic
- Oceania: Australia
- Host/Wild Card: Colombia
The WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup will be the top international baseball tournament in 2018, distributing 690 points toward the WBSC Baseball World Rankings — the third-largest award, following the major international competitions Premier12® and the World Baseball Classic.
At the last U-23 Baseball World Cup in 2016, National Team rosters included players from clubs affiliated to the Australian Baseball League, Chinese Professional Baseball League, Korean Baseball Organization, Major League Baseball, Mexican Baseball League, Nicaraguan Professional Baseball League, Nippon Professional Baseball, in addition to other leagues around the world.