Friday, April 8, 2016

Murillo weighs Mexicali bid for 2017 WBC first round games

On the heels of hosting a four-team qualifier tournament for next year's World Baseball Classic, the Mexican Pacific League's Mexicali Aguilas are considering a potential bid for first round pool play for the full event in 2017. However, Aguilas team president Dio Alberto Murillo (pictured) isn't sounding like a man who will pursue the possibility with WBC overseers Major League Baseball too strongly.

We have to make a business plan," Murillo was quoted as saying on the Solo Beisbol website. "They (MLB) have a series of requirements that are inspected and if they're not met, they sanction you."

The Mexicali organizing committee has emphasized the need to reduce the cost for tickets to games.  The recently-concluded qualifier featured ducats ranging in price from 160 pesos (about US$9) for general admission up to 1,490 pesos (US$84) for premium Zona Oro seats.  According to Murillo, "We won't bid on it if we can't get tickets that are more accessible than they are now...I think we should give some thought that it be an economically-grounded event."

While a total of 56,111 fanaticos attended the six games at Mexicali's 17,000-seat Estadio B-Air for an average of 9,352 per contest, that's a deceiving number.  The three games involving the host Mexican team drew 43,947 but the other three matches pulled in just 12,164, with the March 18 Germany-Czech Republic game attendance indicating that just 2,187 souls occupied the stands.

Thus far, the Jalisco Charros have announced a bid to bring the WBC to Guadalajara while both Hermosillo and Monterrey have also being mentioned as potential pool play sites although no bids have been submitted for either city.