MIAMI, Fla. — This is what many call the World Series of Baseball.

It has been six years since the World Baseball Classic was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But this year, the best of the best players from 20 countries traveled to Miami to see who would win.

Jorge Askue has been a baseball fan since childhood, and he has been a spectator of the World Baseball Classic since its inception in 2006.

“I was excited that the World Series of Baseball was going to happen,” he said with a smile.

He’s been attending games in person since 2009, and this year he watched four games right in his hometown.

“The rest of the country looks at Miami like, ‘No one goes to Marlins games.’ Nobody likes baseball in Miami.” Well, that’s not true. Look how packed this tournament is,” Azcue said.

This tournament is different because the fans cheer for the country.

It’s an honor that runs deeper for fans and brings people from all over to show their spirit.

“That’s actually one of my favorite parts of going to the games, especially with Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. They are just playing there,” Azcue said.

And with fans from South Florida and overseas, Miami-Dade County’s revenue increases.

“We know that when we have the Super Bowl here for a couple of days,” Commissioner Rene Garcia said. “It brings Miami-Dade County tens of millions of dollars and the economic impact that it has not only on the actual venue and the game itself, but the trickle-down effect that it has because the money that comes from tourism, hotels, restaurants, food businesses , flights, everything benefits from having these games in our community.”

And the place to be, Loan Depot Park, is the first venue in tournament history to host games in all three rounds of the Classic.

According to the Miami Marlins organization, all remaining games are sold out.

The games attended in Miami set the attendance record for an American Classic, drawing about 300,000 people so far, with tickets selling for more than $200.

And yet, for the fans, the sacrifice is worth it.

Commissioner Garcia hopes the classic will continue to return to town and perhaps inspire baseball fans to continue the momentum into the regular baseball season.

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