3/11/2013 2:56 P.M. ET
Record number of fans attend Classic's first round
By Cash Kruth / MLB.com
A record number of fans have attended the World Baseball Classic thus far, as nearly a half-million fans cheered their favorite teams in the tournament's first round.
A total of 463,017 fans came through the gates for first-round games in Japan, Taiwan, Puerto Rico and Phoenix. The previous record entering the second round was 453,374 in 2009.
Among the highlights was the largest attendance ever in Taiwan, where 23,431 watched Chinese Taipei face Korea at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium on March 5.
Baseball fans also flocked to Phoenix, where 115,183 watched first-round games -- easily surpassing the venue's previous first-round record of 91,205 in 2006. The first round's biggest draw was at Chase Field, as 44,256 were on hand for Friday's matchup between Team USA and Mexico. It was the second most-attended World Classic Baseball game in North America, trailing only the 2009 championship, which drew 54,846 to Dodger Stadium.
Pool C in San Juan attracted 95,058 fans, which was the highest World Baseball Classic attendance there in the tournament's history.