The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) and Softball Canada announced today that Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada, has been awarded hosting rights for the XVIII WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup. Prime Ministers Park, which was improved with a CAD$1.5 million renovation to stage the WBSC Junior Men’s Softball World Championship 2018, will host one of the three groups in 2024 and the Finals in 2025.
“After an extraordinary Men’s Softball World Cup last month in New Zealand, that showcased the best of international men’s softball and broke records on our OTT platform GameTime in viewership and subscriptions, we are very excited to name Prince Albert as hosts of the next World Cup,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. “Prince Albert brings a wealth of experience in hosting world class events and a strong softball community that guarantee the continued success of this event.”
“Our host committee, along with the City of Prince Albert is very pleased to be once again chosen to host this most prestigious WBSC Softball World Cup event. The best men’s softball players in the world are coming and we can’t wait to show them our local hospitality, great facilities, and area attractions that Prince Albert has grown to be so proud of,” said Derek Smith and Ian Litzenberger, Prince Albert Organizing Committee Co-Chairs.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to host such a prestigious event in Canada and bring the excitement of World Cup softball back for Canadian fans,” stated Scott Neiles, President, Softball Canada. “We would like to thank the World Baseball Softball Confederation for giving us the honour of hosting the exciting event. We would also like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the Prince Albert Bid Committee for their interest and unwavering support.”
Prince Albert built their bid around the city’s success in hosting the WBSC Junior Men’s Softball World Championship 2018, which generated a profit of at least CAD$150,000, with a local economic impact of approximately CAD$10 million (US$ 7.6 million), including over 3,000 hotel room nights sold.
Prince Albert will become the third Canadian city to receive the WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup. Saskatoon (1988, 2009 and 2015) and Whitehorse (2017) are the other two cities to organise the premiere international men’s softball event.
Under the new two-stage format, the XVIII WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup will expand participation to 18 teams, split into three different groups to be played in 2024. Prince Albert will host one of these groups. The top two teams from each group and two wild cards will advance to the Finals in 2025.
The continental quota for the three groups is as follows:
As one of the hosts of the group stage and the Finals, world No. 2 Canada have been granted a berth in both stages of the competition.
The dates of the group stage and Finals in Canada as well as the hosts of the remaining two groups will be announced at a later stage.
The Canada Men’s National Softball Team finished second in last month’s XVII WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup in Auckland, New Zealand, losing to Australia in the final.