Team USA to Open World Baseball Classic Title Defense in Phoenix

Stars and stripes to face Canada, Colombia, Mexico, and a future qualifier in Pool C

CARY, N.C. – World Baseball Classic, Inc. (WBCI) today announced the dates, venues, and pools for the 2023 World Baseball Classic. Team USA will begin its title defense as part of Pool C in Phoenix, Arizona, from March 11-15 and will face Canada, Colombia, Mexico, and a to-be-determined qualifying team. The Pool C winner and runner-up will advance to the quarterfinals in Miami, Florida, from March 17-18, and match-up against the winner and runner-up of Pool D.

The fifth installment of the Classic, which will be played from March 8-21, 2023, will take place at Intercontinental Stadium in Taichung, Taiwan; the Tokyo Dome in Japan; Chase Field, the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, in Phoenix; and loanDepot park, the home of the Miami Marlins, in Florida. loanDepot park in Miami will also host the semifinals and finals of the World Baseball Classic from March 19-21.

The U.S. won its first World Baseball Classic title in 2017 after blanking Puerto Rico, 8-0, in the championship game. Marcus Stroman was named the MVP after throwing six scoreless innings in the final and finishing the tournament with a 2.35 ERA.

“We are ecstatic that the World Baseball Classic is returning in 2023 and we look forward to defending the title following our memorable run in 2017,” said USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler. “The World Baseball Classic is the premier international baseball tournament and features the best players from across the globe. We join in the celebration of its return; however, Team USA is ready to get to work on repeating as champions next spring.”

USA Baseball will look to announce its General Manager and Manager for the 2023 World Baseball Classic in the coming months before assembling the remainder of the coaching staff and building its roster. Stay tuned to @USABaseball on social media (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter) for the most up-to-date information on the red, white, and blue.

Team USA own a 5-3 all-time World Baseball Classic record against teams currently in Pool C, having faced both Canada and Colombia in the opening round of the tournament in 2017 to the tune of 8-0 and 3-2 (10 innings) victories, respectively. The U.S. has advanced to the quarterfinals in every event since the Classic began in 2006 and to the semifinals twice (2009, 2017).

In 2023, the field of teams will expand to 20 for the first time in the tournament’s history. The 16 teams that participated in the 2017 Classic are invited to play in 2023 and will be joined by four teams that will advance from the 2022 Qualifiers, which will be held at Armin-Wolf-Arena in Regensburg, Germany from September 16-21 and at Rod Carew National Stadium in Panama City, Panama from September 30-October 5. The 2023 World Baseball Classic will feature five-team pools in the first round for round-robin play. The top two teams in each of the four first-round pools will advance to the quarterfinals, while the top two teams from each quarterfinal pool will advance to the Championship Round.

The North American quarterfinals, including the teams advancing from Pools C and D, will take place in Miami on March 17-18, while the semifinals and finals will be played from March 19-21.