WBC sets attendance, TV records for first round

The World Baseball Classic (WBC) on Thursday announced first-round records for attendance, TV viewership and merchandise sales, making the fifth installment of the classic’s first round the most popular in its short history.

The attendance figure came in at 1,010,999, making it the most attended round in the history of the tournament.

That mark bested the previous record of 510,056 set in 2017 by more than 98 percent. The average attendance of 25,275 also set a record, with host site Japan breaking records by itself by averaging 36,198 fans per game.

Multiple games also set viewership marks, with the March 10 Japan vs. Korea match-up on TBS setting an all-time record with a 44.4 rating in Japan, making it the most watched game in the history of the classic.

Team USA’s game on FOX against Great Britain became the most watched first-round game involving the USA since 2009 by averaging 1.592 million viewers.

In addition, this season’s first round has already set a record for merchandise sales for an entire tournament. That record includes both e-commerce and onsite sales at the four host venues: Phoenix, AZ, Miami, FL, Tokyo, Japan and Taiwan.

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