Press Release World Baseball Softball Confederation
TAIPEI CITY, Chinese Taipei – WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari announced that Taipei City and Taichung are the latest cities to join – alongside Tokyo, Japan – as hosts for the 2015 WBSC Premier 12™ World Baseball Championship that will debut later this year from 8-21 November.
The new flagship quadrennial event will feature the Men’s Professional National Teams from the Top 12 nations (the “Premier 12”) in the world and will award US$ millions in prize money, in addition to distributing the highest amount of world ranking points of any international baseball event, making it the world’s highest platform for WBSC’s members’ National Baseball Teams.
The additions of Taipei City and Taichung – world-class baseball cities that have successfully staged major international baseball competitions, such as the WBSC-sanctioned World Baseball Classic – to the line-up of host cities for the inaugural Premier 12 follows a landmark agreement between WBSC and Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) that will see the semi-finals and finals of the Premier 12 be staged at the iconic 55,000-seat Tokyo Dome.
The WBSC-NPB partnership will also see the world No. 1 Japanese National Team — a “Samurai Japan” roster that will be filled with Japan’s biggest names in the sport — play their first Premier 12 contest in Japan, before travelling to Chinese Taipei for the Official WBSC Premier 12 Opening Ceremonies and full round-robin action.
Together, Taipei and Taichung will be the site of 29 of the 30 opening round-robin games and the first knockout stage, the quarterfinals, as well as the Official 2015 WBSC Premier 12 Opening Ceremonies.
With Taipei, Taichung and Tokyo joining forces, and the event featuring baseball’s twelve best nations in the world, WBSC leadership believes that the newest global baseball showcase will be positioned for success and capable of attaining record broadcast reach, further exposing the sport to new audiences and future generations of athletes.
WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari indicated that the wave of major milestones that the new Premier 12 has surpassed in a relatively short period highlights the growing appeal and marketability of global competitions, like Premier 12, that feature baseball’s best National Teams and give the best players in the world an opportunity to represent their countries.
The world governing body leader also said the progress of the Premier 12 is a timely boost following the Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms passed last month, particularly with Tokyo’s enthusiasm to co-host the 2015 Premier 12 in one of Japan’s most iconic venues.
The twelve qualified nations for the inaugural Premier 12 in 2015 are (by World Rank): No. 1 Japan, No. 2 USA, No. 3 Cuba, No. 4 Chinese Taipei, No. 5 Netherlands, No. 6 Dominican Republic, No. 7 Canada, No. 8 South Korea, No. 9 Puerto Rico, No. 10 Venezuela, No. 11 Italy and No. 12. Mexico.