World Baseball Classic breaks attendance records in 2023

Featured image credit: Jose Francisco Morales on Unsplash

The 2023 World Baseball Classic broke attendance records, as well as viewership and merchandise sales records. 

This year’s event welcomed 1,306,414 people, which is the highest attendance in the history of the tournament. The 2023 total is also a 20% increase on the previous record in 2017 of 1,086,720.

The tournament was hosted across Japan, Taiwan and the US between March 8-21. Samurai Japan was crowned the eventual winner.

Japan’s quarterfinal match against Italy was also rated a 48.7 in Japan, making it the most-watched game in World Baseball Classic history. Three 2023 matches are now in the top four most-watched games in tournament history.

Merchandise sales also smashed records, with sales of World Baseball Classic goods through the MLB and retailer Fanatics increasing on 2017 levels by 149%.

The 2023 World Baseball Classic was played across Miami’s LoanDepot Park, Tokyo Dome, Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, and Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium in Taichung, Taiwan.

The hosts of the 2026 World Baseball Classic are still to be determined.