World Baseball Classic: Over 1 million fans attend first-round games, breaking previous record

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Fans have come out in large numbers support the 2023 World Baseball Classic. (Photo by Chris Coduto / Getty Images)

If you gather the most talented baseball players from around the world and pit their countries against each other in a do-or-die tournament, they will come. OK, so it may not be as catchy as the popular “field of dreams” quote, but baseball fans came out in huge numbers support the World Baseball Classic this year.

According MLB, more than 1 million fans attended the first round games. The first round of the games attracted 1,010,999 fans, making it the most attended round in WBC history. That figure broke the previous record for attendance, which stood at 510,056. This number was determined during the 2017 tournament.

The fans at the Tokyo Dome in Japan were most excited about the event. The first round games, held at the Tokyo Dome, set the record for the most fans in one venue for a round of the tournament with 361,976 and the highest average attendance in either the first or second round with 36,198 fans per game.

The United also saw a huge increase in attendance. In Miami, 295,850 fans came out watch the Pool D game, setting the record for the most attended WBC games in the US.

The number of viewers also increased. The Japan–Korea game garnered a 44.4 rating in Japan. That figure marked higher ratings than any sport featured during the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Taiwan, Puerto Rico, Korea and the Dominican Republic all saw significant increases in viewership for the 2023 WBC.

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In addition all this, the fans already broke the record for -selling WBC merchandise. Anything purchased during the quarterfinals starting Friday will add to that record, which like everything related to the 2023 World Baseball Classic, is likely on pace to shatter.