Mayor Grant Smith says the city is delighted to host the World Cup event and will do all it can to ensure the event is a success, while leaving a legacy of great facilities for the city.
“Palmerston North hosts many large-scale sports events, says Smith. “Hosting a World Cup allows us to showcase how a regional city can support an international event. Our softball players have shown how they lead the world with their performance. The city will showcase to the world New Zealand hospitality and world-class facilities.”
Softball NZ CEO Tony Giles says the city and Palmerston North City Council has provided outstanding support and leadership for our game in recent years.
“We’re truly excited to be partnering provincial New Zealand to showcase this world class sporting opportunity.”
The junior men’s softball World Cup has only been held in the southern hemisphere three times. Eight of the past 11 world cups have been staged in North America. Canada, USA, Argentina, and Czech Republic had expressed interest in hosting the 2020 event.
“All upgrading work at the park fits within existing budgets,” says Smith. “So, with regard to infrastructure improvements, the timing couldn’t have been better.”
Around 300 players are expected to take part with the 12 qualifying teams and there are expected to be 500 to 1,000 additional travelling spectators and supporters.
The nine-day tournament will run from 22 February to 1 March 2020, with 12 International Federations participating.