The World Baseball Classic, a 16-team tournament sanctioned by the International BAseball Federation (IBAF), will feature many of the best players in the world competing for their home countries and territories for the first time ever. The 16 teams invited to participate in the event have been divided into four pools of four teams for the first round of play.
"The continued cooperation of the Diamondbacks and the Giants is another example of the great support from our Clubs for the World Baseball Classic," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "Chase Field and Scottsdale Stadium are fine facilities in prime locations, and we thank both clubs for their enthusiasm."
"We are pleased to have Chase Field and Scottsdale Stadium, two first-class baseball venues, play host to the inaugural games of the World Baseball Classic," said Donald Fehr, Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association. "Launching the Classic in Arizona, which has long supported the sport on every level, will provide fans and players with a memorable experience."
Chase Field, formerly Bank One Ballpark, has been the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks since their inaugural season in 1998. It is known for its retractable roof and for being the only ballpark to feature a swimming pool. The facility has a seating capacity of 49,033 with superb sightlines. In fact, 80% of the ballpark's seats are located within the foul lines. In addition to hosting Major League Baseball, Chase Field has been home to several concerts, trade shows, motorcross events, the Fiesta Bowl National Band Championship, major college basketball games and college football's Insight Bowl, and will serve as the location for an annual baseball match-up between Arizona State University and the University of Arizona.
"We have been in support of the World Baseball Classic from the beginning and understand its impact on promoting goodwill internationally," said Diamondbacks President Rich Dozer. "It is an honor to be hosting games in the first round. Arizona enjoys being the center of baseball activity each spring, and it is exciting to be able to offer our fans and all of our visitors the best players in the world in our first-class facilities."
Scottsdale Stadium, located in the heart of scenic downtown Scottsdale, is the Spring Training home of the San Francisco Giants and also plays host to Arizona Fall league baseball and numerous special events. The stadium opened in 1992 and was designed by HOK Sport, architects of MLB facilities including San Francisco's SBC Park and Baltimore's Camden Yards. Scottsdale Stadium has long been considered Arizona's finest Cactus League venue and renovations to be completed prior the 2006 World Baseball Classic will enhance the stadium's reputation as a baseball haven for players and spectators. Scottsdale Stadium has a seating capacity of 11,500 and features over 8,000 permanent seats and grass berm seating for over 3,000 in left and right fields.
"The Giants are thrilled to be hosting first round games of the inaugural World Baseball Classic at Scottsdale Stadium," said Larry Baer, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the San Francisco Giants. "This tournament presents an incredible opportunity to showcase baseball's international appeal and we're honored to be able to welcome some of the World's best baseball talent to our Scottsdale home."