The event was to be held at Ed Smith Stadium and Bradenton's LECOM Park in September.
USA Baseball, the Sarasota-Bradenton local organizing committee and the World Baseball Softball Confederation announced Thursday that the 2021 U-18 Baseball World Cup would be postponed to 2022 due to COVID-19 concerns domestically and globally.
The event was to be held at Ed Smith Stadium and Bradenton's LECOM Park in September. All tickets purchased for the 2021 event will be refunded, per a release, and the new dates for the event will be announced later.
“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,” WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said in the release. “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 favorite 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.”
Virginia Haley, the president of Visit Sarasota County, and Elliott Falcione, the executive director of the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, said their organizations fully support the decision to postpone the event.
The event was originally awarded to the Sarasota-Bradenton area in March 2019 after a two-year bidding process. When it is held, it will be the first event of its kind held in the United States since 1995, when the country hosted the Junior World Championships.
Fans can continue to receive updates about the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup by visiting the event’s website or by following @SARBRAD2021 on Instagram and Twitter.
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