World Baseball Classic, Inc. (WBCI) will distribute more than $15 million in proceeds from the 2009 World Baseball Classic to the participating federations and the International Baseball Federation (IBAF), it was announced today. The prize pool for the participating teams will be $14 million, which is nearly double the $7.8 million that was awarded after the inaugural event. In addition, the IBAF, the worldwide governing body for the sport of baseball, will receive over $1 million to invest in game development globally.
As in 2006, each federation will use a significant portion of their award to support existing game development programs and create new grassroots initiatives in their countries, contributing to the World Baseball Classicâ€™s mission of fostering the growth of the game around the world.
â€śBaseball continues to grow globally and the World Baseball Classic is the perfect showcase for fans around the world to witness the excitement of our great game,â€ť said Commissioner of Baseball Allan H. (Bud) Selig. â€śThe distribution of tournament proceeds will help grow baseball internationally by providing the necessary funds to support grassroots programs and elite level competitions worldwide.â€ť
â€śThe World Baseball Classic allows us to give more and greater support to the efforts to grow baseball around the world,â€ť stated Donald M. Fehr, Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association. â€śThis year we will nearly double the World Baseball Classic contribution to our partner country federations and institutions all over the globe. We are proud of this event and what it enables us to do.â€ť
â€śBaseball is a sport for all and the money raised by the World Baseball Classic will go to our 127 member federations on six continents to continue the growth of the game,â€ť said Dr. Harvey Schiller, President, International Baseball Federation. â€śThe World Baseball Classic doesn't just raise the awareness of baseball; it enhances programs that teach healthy living, teamwork and social equality. We are grateful to all involved for their assistance.â€ť
Awards for each participating team will be distributed based on advancement in the tournament. Teams are guaranteed a minimum of $300,000 for participating, while the 2009 World Baseball Classic Champion will receive a minimum of $2.7 million. Guaranteed awards by round are as follows:
- Tournament Champion: $2.7 million
- Tournament Runner-Up: $1.7 million
- Eliminated in Semi-Finals (Two Teams): $1.2 million
- Eliminated Round Two (Four Teams): $700,000
- Eliminated Round One (Eight Teams): $300,000
In addition, the four teams that win the pool championship games, the final games of each pool of Round One, will receive an additional $300,000 bonus and first place seeding for Round Two. The two teams that win the pool championship games, the final games of each pool of Round Two, will receive a $400,000 bonus and first place seeding in the two Semi-Final games.
The 2009 World Baseball Classic begins in Tokyo on March 5 as defending Tournament Champion Team Japan takes on Team China in the first game of Pool A.
Source: World Baseball Classic, Inc.
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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