The IBAF have announced “impressive” early ticket sales for the Baseball World Cup, to be staged across Europe this September.Â Â Over 8,000 tickets have been sold in forty-eight hours for the Pool E games based in Regensburg, Germany.
The news is a welcome source of optimism for the year ahead; however Regensburg is the only venue currently selling tickets.Â Â Little information has been published about the organization of the tournament in recent months and, according to recent reports from Mister-Baseball.com, this lack of progress is causing concern.Â
This is felt most keenly in Italy.Â Marco Micheli of Baseball.it states that their venues are still to be finalized, less than nine months before the event is scheduled to begin.Â Â Murray Cook, MLB’s field and stadium consultant, highlighted the stadiums at Grosseto and Nettuno as being the best developed during his tour of Europe last October.Â Cook stated that “they each still have some things to tweak” and that work is needed on other ballparks in Europe to get them ready for the World Cup.
Cook was sounding positive three months ago, stressing that there was still time to make the necessary improvements.Â Micheli’s report states that the two Italian towns have received no communication since the end of last season regarding plans for future work to their ballparks.Â The same is true in relation to the plans to build a new stadium in Rome.
While time is not running out just yet, it is definitely counting down quickly.Â Good progress needs to be made over the next couple of months to ensure that the local organizers can effectively prepare for the event.
Regensburg is proving to be an honourable exception to the apparent lack of progress elsewhere.Â Work has already started to improve their stadium, a process that will see its capacity rise temporarily from 1,400 seats to 11,500.Â These seats look set to be filled and the promising ticket sales are partly due to the reasonable prices available to â€˜early birds’ who book their tickets before 1 May.Â An infield seating ticket for all six games, involving Germany, China, USA and Venezuela, currently will cost you ninety Euros (Â£83).
The Regensburg organizers have launched an impressive website through which fans can purchase their tickets.Â They will be sent out via e-mail and spectators simply need to print out the tickets and take them along to gain entry.Â The 2009 Baseball World Cup website does include an e-mail address that you can use to enquire generally about tickets, although they may only be able to provide a limited amount of information outside of the Regensburg details right now.
More news should be forthcoming over the next couple of weeks.Â Mister-Baseball reports that the seven European Baseball Federations hosting the World Cup will meet in Frankfurt, Germany on 6 February to talk about their plans for the tournament.Â Hopefully Regensburg’s excellent start can be built on by the other countries and we will soon be able to point to similar signs of progress elsewhere.