Arizona to host first-round Baseball Classic games

PHOENIX -- Chase Field in Phoenix and the Scottsdale spring training home of the San Francisco Giants will be the sites of first-round games involving the United States next March in the inaugural World Baseball Classic.

The Arizona Diamondbacks announced the selection on Monday. There will be four first-round pools.

Chase Field, formerly Bank One Ballpark, and Scottsdale Stadium will host round-robin competition March 3-11 for Pool B, which includes the United States, Canada, Mexico and South Africa. The tournament, sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation,
will include 16 teams. The finals will be held March 20 at Petco Park in San Diego.

The winner and runner-up of Pool A will advance to the second round against the top two teams in Pool B, which includes Japan, Korea, Chinese Taipei and China.

Top major-league players will participate in the tournament under an agreement between Major League Baseball and its players' association.

The schedule of games was not revealed, but the United States, Canada and Mexico will play at Chase, while all four teams will play games in Scottsdale.