The globally-famous World Baseball Classic (WBC) tournament is returning to Taichung this month for the first time in a decade. Pool A preliminaries are scheduled to take place at the city’s Intercontinental Baseball Stadium March 8 to 12 and will include national teams from Taiwan, Panama, Cuba, the Netherlands, Italy and other nations. The hard-fought, entertaining competitions between sides to qualify for two places at the quarterfinals in Tokyo also ensure that Taichung will be baseball-crazy this month as everyone is welcome to attend games, cheer for Taiwan and experience the unique excitement and passion of international games.
A World Baseball City
Taichung was awarded the title of “World Baseball City” by the World Baseball and Softball Council (WBSC) in 2013 and has a wealth of experience hosting a variety of important international baseball events, including the 2013 WBC first-round preliminaries, Intercontinental Cup, Baseball World Cup, Asian Baseball Championships, Olympic Baseball Final Qualifying Tournament, 2019 Asian Baseball Championship, World Top 12 Baseball Championship and, most recently, the 2022 U23 World Cup Baseball Tournament. Together with the 2023 World Baseball Classic, these competitions have helped spotlight Taiwan’s baseball achievements on the international stage.
When completed in 2006, the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium was Taiwan’s first international-standard and first American-style baseball stadium. WBC organizer Major League Baseball (MLB) is now bringing this tournament back to Taichung for the first time in 10 years. In preparation, a MLB inspection crew conducted a site survey of the stadium and praised its high standards. Credit for bringing this major event to Taichung also goes to strong efforts by the Taiwan Baseball Association and Taichung City Government, which have helped position Taichung alongside other leading global cities like Tokyo, Miami and Phoenix that are qualified to host this major competition.
Taichung MRT cooperation promotes sports
In 2015, the CTBC Brothers professional baseball team made Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium its home stadium. In order to support the local team, the Taichung MRT Co. collaborated with the Brothers in the development and operation of the Wenxin-Chongde MRT Station, nearest to the stadium. With its “Mammoth Kandula by Brothers” theme, this station has become a popular spot for Brother Elephants fan gatherings in Taichung, and also symbolizes the city’s active promotion of professional sports development and sports as an important indicator of Taichung’s real power.
Eye-catching ‘Classic Girls’ cheerleading squad
Besides the exciting games, baseball cheerleaders have also become a popular spectacle at the ballpark. To support the WBC tournament, popular Brothers cheerleaders Qun Qun from Brothers and Mizuki Lin from Rakuten have assembled other cheerleaders from Taiwan’s Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) to form the Classic Girls cheerleading squad. This attractive line-up will use their superb dancing skills to rally local fans in supporting Taiwan’s team to victory and a smooth advance to Tokyo.
March 5-6 WBC exhibition games
To help warm up and support the home team before the tournament, official exhibition games between Taiwan’s national team and CPBL teams will take place on March 5 and 6, respectively, at the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium against the CTBC Brothers and Yunlin Douliu Baseball Stadium against the Fubon Guardians. Fans can either purchase tickets to watch the games at the ballparks or cheer for Taiwan via live broadcasts on MOMO TV, ELTA TV, Line Today, and CPBL TV.