Miami, Houston, San Juan and Tokyo to host 2026 World Baseball Classic. WBSC

World Baseball Classic Inc. has unveiled the venues for the upcoming sixth edition of the global baseball tournament scheduled for March 2026.

Following the successful model of 2023, loanDepot Park in Miami, the MLB's Marlins' home ground, will once again serve as a key venue, hosting matches across all stages of the tournament, culminating in the prestigious final.

All three stages of the sixth edition will be played at loanDepot Park in Miami, Florida; Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas; Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico; and the Tokyo Dome in Japan. The title of World Baseball Champion will be awarded to the winners by the WBSC.

"After a record-breaking World Baseball Classic in 2023, loanDepot Park showed it is the home of international baseball and we are proud to bring this incredible tournament back to South Florida, the destination for global jewel events," said Bruce Sherman, Chairman and Principal Owner of the Marlins. 

"It is a great honour to once again host all three rounds, including the prestigious finals. On behalf of our entire team and the greater Miami community, I would like to thank Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association for this recognition", he said.

Another venue will be Minute Maid Park, which will host the event for the first time in its history. The stadium will be the ninth different venue to host the World Baseball Classic after Chase Field in Phoenix (2006, 2013, 2023), Petco Park in San Diego (2006, 2009, 2017), Angel Stadium in Anaheim (2006), Rogers Centre in Toronto (2009), Dolphin Stadium in Miami (2009), Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles (2009, 2017), Oracle Park in San Francisco (2013) and loanDepot Park in Miami (2013, 2017, 2023).

As quoted on the WBSC's official website, "Houston is a global city with the best baseball fans in the world, and we are proud to welcome fans from around the world to watch international competition at Minute Maid Park," said Astros owner and chairman Jim Crane.

The Tokyo Dome, however, has hosted World Baseball Classic games in all previous editions. It is already a staple of the tournament. Baseball has a huge impact in Japan, the country will also be defending their title in 2023.

loanDepot Park in Miami, Florida, will host the finals. GETTY IMAGES
loanDepot Park in Miami, Florida, will host the finals. GETTY IMAGES

"The previous tournament in 2023, in which the Japanese national team became world champions, generated a lot of excitement in Japan. The increase in the number of children interested in baseball was a great benefit to the baseball world," said Takashi Yamada, Chief Officer of Cultural and Sports Projects at Yomiuri Shimbun. 

"To ensure the success and development of the tournament, we will do our utmost to once again bring the excitement and inspiration of the World Baseball Classic to the world", he said. In the 2006, 2009 and 2013 editions, Hiram Bithorn Stadium hosted first-round matches. It is not new, but this time it is back in the spotlight. 

"San Juan Mayor Miguel Romero said, "I am deeply honoured that our city has been selected to host the World Baseball Classic for the fourth time. "This decision is a reflection of the world's recognition of San Juan as a premier venue for global sporting events."

The WBSC is the sanctioning body for the World Baseball Classic and, since the 2013 edition, has awarded the title of World Baseball Champion to the winners. 

The tournament is a 20-team tournament. The top four finishers in each of the four groups in the first round in 2023 are already qualified. The other four participants will be the winners of the 2025 Qualifying Tournament.

It is one of the two major WBSC-sanctioned senior baseball tournaments, along with the WBSC Premier12, but it is the only one that awards the title of "World Champion" to the winner.

Proposed by the MLB and its Players Association in 2005, the tournament was first held as an invitational event in 2006. It previously co-existed as a tournament sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation, the WBSC's predecessor, with Olympic Baseball (until 2008) and the Baseball World Cup (until 2011).

Japan's victory over the United States in 2023 made them the second team to win the World Baseball Classic without losing a game in the tournament. The first was the Dominican Republic in 2013.