With a modern stadium for almost 40,000 spectators, a colorful promenade along the coast and the possibility that Major League Baseball (MLB) players can enter Venezuela after the easing of sanctions imposed by the United States, the country Caribbean will show, with the Caribbean Series 2023, its “rebirth” and ability to host major competitions.
The State and the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League (LVBP) refine the last details to receive seven teams, in addition to Venezuela, for the 65th edition of the Caribbean Series that will be held between February 2 and 10 in the oil country. after two consecutive years (2018 and 2019) he was withdrawn as a candidate to host the event due to political “instability”.
Now, with the incipient economic recovery of the last year, Venezuela intends to exceed expectations and consolidate itself in the sports area, showing the transition from the “stage of resistance to that of rebirth,” Sports Minister Mervin Maldonado explained to EFE.
“Sport has been experiencing one of the best moments in its entire history. We have seen it in better Olympic Games, better Paralympic Games in what was Tokyo, the development and rescue of the National Sports Games after nine years”, pointed out the minister, as examples of the progress made in sports.
GETTING AROUND DIFFICULTIES
The general manager of the Organizing Committee of the Caribbean Series, Humberto Oropeza, told EFE that there have been several challenges to be able to carry out this competition. The first was to get the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to lift the veto that prevented having players from the MLB system.
“I think that was the biggest (challenge), that of OFAC (…) without having had the OFAC license, the MLB players would not have been able to come and, logically, the other countries said ‘how am I going to play? if I can’t take my MLB players who are on the roster (list),’ which in the case of Santo Domingo will be 50% of the roster,” he said.
The 65th edition of the Caribbean Series will feature, for the first time, eight teams from the region and will be played in two stadiums simultaneously: in the capital’s La Rinconada, and in Macuto, in the coastal state of La Guaira, which for Oropeza makes the organization difficult, by increasing the number of athletes, hotels, transfers and visitors.
In this sense, Maldonado stressed that Venezuela’s promise is to offer a “high” sports show that shows its efforts to circumvent the sanctions imposed by the United States.
“THE BEST STADIUM IN LATIN AMERICA”
The president of the LVBP, Giuseppe Palmisano, highlighted the contribution of the Venezuelan State in this tournament, with the construction of two stadiums, in addition to security and transmission permits for the media.
“The State has made an effort to (give) permits through visas, permission to enter the country, always wanting to put sport above any political difference,” he told EFE.
The La Rinconada stadium, with a capacity for 38,000 people, according to the Sports Minister, is still under construction with more than 3,000 workers working 24 hours to get it ready for February 2.
Maldonado explained that the facility will have seven levels and that it is an ambitious project with which Venezuela is equal in baseball sports spaces where world classics are held.
“They will have the opportunity to appreciate the best baseball stadium in all of Latin America and the Caribbean and said by the people of the Caribbean Confederation, at the highest level of Major League stadiums,” he said.
EFE had access to this sports venue before the inauguration and verified the progress of the work in the field and the attractions of the place, which include modern and spacious grandstands, luxury boxes, such as the presidential box, spaces for fairs and even a garden attached to the field.
The organizers affirm that the important thing will not be the profits obtained by the event, whose tickets will have prices between 2 and 40 dollars, but the renown and excellence that they will achieve if the event they imagine is consolidated.
They dream so high that they even consider asking the MLB to organize a world classic in Venezuela later on.