Classic's economic impact

The first pitch hasn’t even been thrown and already the World Baseball Classic is making a positive economic impact on South Florida.

The Marlins released some interesting information on Wednesday morning. Second-round matchups of the Classic from March 14-18 at Dolphin Stadium are estimated to infuse $30 million to the local economy.

This is a conservative estimate, according to Marlins Senior Vice President of Stadium Development, Claude Delorme.

By Wednesday morning, more than 50,000 tickets already were sold for the six games. Large walkup crowds also are expected. Tickets are available on www.marlins.com and www.mlb.com.

More than 25,000 visitors are expected to book hotel rooms locally.

Awarding sound round games to Miami is part of MLB’s on-going commitment to South Florida. If the Marlins gain approval on a new retractable-roof stadium on the Orange Bowl grounds in Miami, there is a good chance the new ballpark will be picked as the host site for the 2013 World Baseball Classic finals.

“The Marlins are proud to be hosting this world-class tournament and we are extremely pleased on how ticket sales and interest from fans outside the State have both increased in recent weeks,” said Delorme.  “We expect sales to increase significantly once the final four teams are confirmed.  We appreciate the opportunity to welcome baseball fans from throughout the region and around the world and we hope to build on this excitement for the next tournament in 2013. Fans will be treated to great baseball, featuring the best players from around the globe.”

– Joe Frisaro

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