Baseball’s return to the Olympic Games has been confirmed.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) overwhelmingly approved the addition of five new sports proposed by the Los Angeles (LA) 2028 Olympic Games Organizing Committee and approved by the IOC Executive Board at its 141st Session in Mumbai, India, on Saturday.
Only two IOC members voted against the inclusion of the five sports – baseball-softball, squash, flag football, cricket and lacrosse – in the 2028 Olympic program.
This marks the return of baseball to the Olympic program after a seven-year absence, having been featured at Tokyo 2020 in 2021 and Paris 2024.
Given that the 2028 Los Angeles Games will be held in the United States, the world’s baseball capital, there is already a lot of interest in the prospect of Major League Baseball (MLB) players representing their country at the Games.
Historically, MLB has not allowed major leaguers to compete in the Olympics during the regular season.
Cricket, which has more than 2.5 billion fans worldwide, is returning to the Olympics for the first time in 128 years since the 1900 Paris Games, while lacrosse is making its third Olympic appearance since 1904 in St. Louis and 1908 in London.
The IOC is expected to rake in huge broadcast rights revenues as cricket becomes an Olympic sport for India, a country with a population that rivals China’s.
The Associated Press estimated that Indian broadcasters alone will receive more than $100 million in Olympic rights fees.
Flag football and squash, both popular in the United States, will make their Olympic debuts.
Four of the five new sports are team events, which will naturally increase the number of athletes competing in LA 2028.
The IOC capped the number of athletes at the Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 Games at 15,000, but that number is expected to increase to 11,000 for the LA 2028 Games.
The IOC Session also approved the inclusion of modern pentathlon and weightlifting, which had been dropped from the 28 LA Games foundational sports.
Prior to the Session’s decision, the IOC Executive Board made recommendations to the Session on the inclusion of the two sports in the 2028 LA Games, noting that the International Modern Pentathlon Federation had made efforts to reduce costs by replacing equestrian events with steeplechase races, while the World Weightlifting Federation had sought to make changes by delegating doping control to an independent organization, the International Testing Agency (ITA). 파워볼분석