Baseball Among New Sports Added To 2028 Olympics In Los Angeles

The 2028 Olympics (LA28) are coming to Los Angeles, and among the highlights is the return of baseball and softball to the games after the 141st International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed the sport program following the ratifying vote.

Baseball and softball are among the five sports added to the schedule, which also includes cricket, flag football, lacrosse and squash.

“The return of baseball and softball to the Olympics in 2028 is an important development for the ongoing global growth of our sport,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “Major League Baseball has committed significant resources to developing talent, increasing youth participation, and deepening fan engagement of baseball and softball around the world.

“The return of Olympic competition will provide a powerful boost to our efforts and give sports fans everywhere another opportunity to enjoy our great game. The diverse and passionate baseball and softball community in Los Angeles will undoubtedly provide enthusiastic support to create a memorable atmosphere for the competition.”

The past World Baseball Classic that took place before the 2023 season highlighted the need for a continuing international tournament. The praise for the WBC among players who participated was near unanimous and it produced many exciting matchups with tons of energy.

The final matchup featured Team Japan defeating Team USA in the championship game. It came down to a final at-bat between Los Angeles Angels’ superstars Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani facing off.

“We are thrilled that America’s pastime will be a part of the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games,” USA Baseball CEO Paul Seiler said.

“The inclusion of Baseball and Softball will undoubtedly enhance the experience of the Games, as both sports have enjoyed global success in recent years and deserve to be celebrated on the international stage.

“It is exciting to be able to return to the place that kickstarted baseball being on the Olympic Programme, as well as a location that boasts numerous professional teams and some of the most iconic players in today’s game.

“USA Baseball takes great pride in showcasing the nation’s best players in international competition, and we can’t wait for the opportunity to do so on home soil.”

Baseball will be featured in the Olympic Games for the seventh time, with the first being played during the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. It’s the sixth time softball is included in the scheduling since it’s debut in the 1996 games in Atlanta.

“We are delighted that baseball and softball have been confirmed as part of the sports programme at the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028 by the IOC Session,” World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) president Riccardo Fraccari said.

“The WBSC firmly believes that baseball and softball will help millions of fans engage with the Olympic Games, especially with USA being home to many of the sports’ best players and biggest stars from across the world.

“It is going to be an electric atmosphere in LA where the best baseball and softball athletes in the world will have the opportunity to play on the biggest stage in front of a global audience of billions.”

The last time baseball was played in the Olympics was in Tokyo for the 2020 games, when Japan defeated the United States to take the gold medal.

However, the tournament was delayed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the games were played behind closed doors.

Baseball and softball were not expected to return for 2024, but it created record TV viewing figures in 2020.

2028 Olympics Los Angeles

The LA28 Games will mark the third time L.A. has hosted the Olympic Games, with the last two times coming in 1984 and 1932.

“I have long believed that we have an incredible opportunity in Los Angeles to create the most compelling Games, not just for us, but for the world,” LA28 chairperson Casey Wasserman said.

“Our Olympic sport program, in its entirety, reflects this belief. We are excited to embark on game-changing collaborations with major professional leagues that will unlock massive opportunities to amplify the Olympic and Paralympic story and captivate new audiences.”

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