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D-backs’ Torey Lovullo excited for WBC return to Chase Field in 2021

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo laughs in his dugout as his team battles against the San Diego Padres during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

Glendale, Ariz. — Some of the best players in the sport will take the field to represent their country at Chase Field in the 2021 World Baseball Classic, and Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo is excited for what the event could do for the sport in Arizona.

“Recruiting fans is what we do day-by-day,” said Lovullo. “If we could maybe ride the coattails of that and sweep in after they play a really good first round, maybe we continue the trend and keep those fans coming to the ballpark.”

The World Baseball Classic in 2013 was a big hit in the Valley as Phoenix hosted five games at Chase Field. One contest also took place at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

It was an electric atmosphere at Chase Field when Mexico and the United States clashed, as over 44,000 people attended the game.

That wasn’t surprising since nearly 33,000 came through the gates when the two countries played back in 2006, the first time the event was held at Chase Field.

Along with Mexico and the United States, fans were also able to see team Italy and team Canada in 2013, and South Africa in 2006.

“I’m excited knowing there is going to be some new baseball played in our town,” Lovullo said, adding he would like to attend a few of the games if possible. “The fans of Arizona are going to get a chance to watch first hand some really good baseball games.”

“The World Baseball Classic is a very unique experience for all of us and it’s always a good time watching baseball games,” he said. 

Japan has won the event twice (2006, 2009), with the Dominican Republic (2013) and United States (2017) coming out victorious in the other two competitions.

Major League Baseball players are sprinkled throughout the teams, as Paul Goldschmidt (USA), Fernando Rodney (Dominican Republic), Daniel Descalso (Italy) and Silvino Bracho (Venezuela) were among the D-backs who participated in the event in 2017.

While the tournament is a year away, a qualifier for the event will be hosted in Tucson, Ariz., this coming March 13-25 at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium. Tickets to that event are on sale.

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