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MLB announces host venues for 2026 World Baseball Classic

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Major League Baseball announced the four venues for the 2026 World Baseball Classic on Thursday. 

Miami’s loanDepot Park will host games in all three rounds of the tournament for a second straight season. Japan’s Tokyo Dome, which has been a part of all five previous WBCs, will host first-round games in 2026. Puerto Rico’s Hiram Bithorn Stadium will host first-round games as well — the first time games have been hosted in Puerto Rico since 2013. And, for the first time, Houston’s Minute Maid Park will host WBC games — making the Astros the eighth MLB team to see their home venue host a portion of the event.

“We are excited and honored to be hosting World Baseball Classic matchups for the first time,” Astros owner Jim Crane said in a statement. “Houston is a global city with the best baseball fans, and we are proud to welcome fans from across the globe to watch international competition at Minute Maid Park. Thank you to MLB, the MLBPA and the City of Houston for their support – we are looking forward to an exciting tournament in 2026.”

Each of the four venues will play host to one of four pools in the first round of play. Minute Maid Park and loanDepot Park will then host the quarterfinals, with the final stages of the tournament playing out at loanDepot Park in Miami.

The 2023 World Baseball Classic, which saw Japan topple the United States in the finals, was the first in which the field of teams expanded from 16 to 20. The 16 that finished top-four in their 2023 pools will return to participate in the 2026 WBC. Four additional teams will join the field by way of a series of qualifying events scheduled to take place in 2025.

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