The World Baseball Classic will soon be playing its quarterfinals matchups, but the first-round schedule was the most attended in WBC history.
After six years away, the World Baseball Classic returned in 2023 with a star-studded tournament featuring the best baseball teams from around the world. Since the start of the first round of games on March 8, the event has delivered thrills for diehard baseball fans that have filled four different locations with some sizable crowds.
Related: World Baseball Classic schedule – Get game times for the latest WBC games
The first round of the 2023 WBC stretched out from March 8 to 13 and apparently delivered record crowds for the event. On Friday, MLB announced that various first-round matchups played in Tokyo, Taichung, Phoenix, and Miami destroyed the previous attendance records for first-round games in the World Baseball Classic.
The league claims that 1,010,999 fans attended the opening schedule of the tournament. The number is more than double the previous record of 510,056 set in 2017 (h/t Yahoo Sports). Japan saw the strongest demand as the Tokyo Dome averaged 36,198 per game, and 361,976 total fans for this year’s World Baseball Classic. Both are new records for the event.
The set of WBC games in Miami this year pulled in 295,850 — a record for the event in the United States — and the Mexico vs USA game in Phoenix set a single-game WBC record with 47,534 in attendance.
Quarterfinal games in the 2023 WBC are being held this week, while semifinal matchups begin on March 19. The finals of this year’s WBC will be held on March 21 at LoanDepot Park in Miami.