Fans attending Classic games in record numbers

Fans attending Classic games in record numbers

More of the world is watching the World Baseball Classic than ever before.

Record crowds at Marlins Park in Miami and Tokyo Dome have brought the tournament's total attendance to 788,299 -- over a hundred thousand more than 2009's numbers at this stage.

The trend showed early, as this year's second round games totaled 325,282 fans amounting to a 58 percent increase from the 206,180 fans that attended in 2009.

The numbers can be at least partially attributed to baseball's expansion across the globe. This year, the tournament expanded to feature 28 countries in the first round, second round and qualifiers on three continents and six countries.

With Puerto Rico facing off against Japan at AT&T Park on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET and the unbeaten Dominican Republic squad facing The Kingdom of the Netherlands on Monday at 9 p.m. ET, those numbers will only continue to rise with the winners meeting on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET to decide a champion. All of these games can be seen on both MLB Network and ESPN Deportes.

Gary Cotton is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.