USA Baseball, in partnership with the Sarasota-Bradenton Local Organizing Committee and the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), has announced the postponement of the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Bradenton and Sarasota, Florida, to 2022 due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic both domestically and internationally.
The event was set to take place from September 10-19, 2021, at Ed Smith Stadium and LECOM Park, the Spring Training homes of the Baltimore Orioles and the Pittsburgh Pirates, respectively.
The new dates for the event in 2022 will be announced at a later time. All tickets already purchased for the 2021 event will be refunded in a timely manner. Updated ticketing information will be provided when the rescheduled dates are announced.
“As we continue to monitor the global COVID-19 pandemic, the WBSC, as well as our hosts and all concerned stakeholders, consider the rescheduling of the U-18 Baseball World Cup to 2022 to be the best and safest course of action,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari.
“While today’s decision is disappointing, it is taken with the safety of all participants in mind. I am confident that our U.S. hosts next year will be able to deliver a fantastic U-18 Baseball World Cup, where fans can fill the stadiums and cheer on their favourite National Teams, building upon the wave of momentum for our sport following the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“The WBSC thanks the local authorities, USA Baseball, and the cities of Bradenton and Sarasota for their support and collaboration.”
“We are disappointed to postpone welcoming what will be one of the premier baseball events in the world to our home soil; however, we fully support the decision in light of the continued impact the coronavirus pandemic is having around the globe,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball’s Executive Director and CEO. “Ultimately, it is about protecting the health and safety of the players, coaches, and staff, as well as the local communities in Florida, and this decision allows us to achieve that to the best of our abilities. We will continue to move forward and be ready to host a truly spectacular event in front of our home fans next year.”
The WBSC awarded the hosting rights to the United States, and Bradenton and Sarasota, Florida, due to its tremendous resume of hosting international and youth sports competitions, including the 2017 World Rowing Championships and the 2017-2018 International Triathlon World Cups. Located on Florida’s Gulf Coast region, Bradenton and Sarasota are south of Tampa Bay and are known for award-winning beaches and a long history of arts and culture.
“We completely support the World Baseball Softball Confederation and USA Baseball’s decision to postpone this year’s event,” said Virginia Haley, president of Visit Sarasota County. “The safety and wellbeing of our visitors is our top priority, and we understand the current challenges faced particularly by international competitions. We look forward to working with our partners over the next year to ensure the 2022 World Cup is a truly unforgettable experience for our visiting teams and fans.”
“The World Baseball Softball Confederation has the full support of the Bradenton Area Sports Department in its decision to postpone this year’s tournament,” said Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Elliot Falcione. “We look forward to continue working with USA Baseball to make the U-18 Baseball World Cup a great experience for the teams and visitors in 2022, and to introducing the international baseball community to the Bradenton-Sarasota area.”
Fans can continue to receive updates about the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup by visiting SarasotaBradenton2021.com or by following @SARBRAD on Instagram and Twitter.