By 2021, the Little League World Series, and its fan experience, will be bigger and better.
Stephen Keener, President and CEO of Little League International, announced at a press conference today that the field will expand from 16 to 20 for the 2021 World Series. On the US side, a Metro Division will be added, consisting of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island, along with a Mountain Division, featuring Montana, Nevada, Wyoming and Utah.
The international bracket is slightly more complicated. It concerns Panama, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. Every year, two of these three countries/territories will see its winner gain automatic entry, with the third remaining in the Caribbean Region. The first year, there will a random draw to see which two places have that automatic distinction, and then they will simply rotate for the upcoming years.
As far as the face lift, fan essentials such as improved parking and concessions are on the list. On the player side, expect more dorms and a bigger infirmary. There will also be a lighted practice field.
Little League International plans to fund the entire project.