Main Event moves to Houston for 2024 in returning Signature Events calendar

December 6, 2023

Bigger and better, right?

If only there were a place where everything’s bigger…

The New Balance Baseball Future Stars Series is happy to introduce a tentative look at the remainder of the upcoming 2024 schedule, with some significant and exciting changes to what’s already one of the most anticipated calendars in the industry.

After the announcement of the inaugural Future Stars Series Showdown, Texas would seem like the most fitting place to hold the eighth annual Main Event, which is set for Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros, from September 27-29. It’ll mark the third different major-league park the event has been held in, joining Citi Field and Fenway Park, and the first time it’s been in the Lonestar State since the inaugural then-International Week in Sugar Land back in 2017.

The event has helped produce current major-leaguers such as Grayson Rodriguez, Bo Naylor and Kyren Paris and has also seen high-end talent like last year’s No. 2 overall pick, Dylan Crews, Cam Collier, Mick Abel, Ricky Tiedemann, Tink Hence, Zac Veen, Adam Macko, Ryan Spikes, Anthony Solometo, Drew Gilbert, Tommy Troy, and countless others play.

But, this’ll be the first time it’ll be in Houston, which marks a fitting return back to the area where some of the earliest national tournaments in company history were held.

“We’re home,” said Future Stars Series president and CEO, Jeremy Booth. “Moving the Main Event to Houston is a no-brainer in a lot of ways, but once we saw the support this event was going to get from the city and how they embraced having it there, we think it’ll be the best one we’ve ever had. We can’t wait to unveil a lot of what the Harris County Houston Sports Authority has planned, but it’s safe to say we’re expecting a big crowd at Minute Maid. To have something like this in my backyard, to have all my colleagues at KHOU and in the Houston media able to be there, this all just feels right.”

Opened in 2000, Minute Maid Park has become a destination for baseball fans across the globe, and has hosted the World Series on five separate occasions, including as recently as 2022.

The new collaboration with Stack Sports also makes a significant upgrade with the debut of the Area Code Games on the FSS coverage calendar; starting with Area Code Select East at Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, FL from January 27-28, followed by at Area Code Select West, Dodger Stadium, CA from February 3-4. Of course, the regular Area Code Underclass and Upperclass are set for the summer, with dates to be finalized shortly.

The partnership includes coordination of event calendar and player opportunity. This will streamline and improve the amateur baseball landscape with the support of the FSS Advisory Board and MLB clubs, and will increase coverage of players at the amateur level through the deployment of the FSS scouting staff.

That’s not all for the schedule. Not even close, really.

After a three-year hiatus, the highly-anticipated World Combine returns, but is set for a domestic setting, to be hosted by IMG Academy from May 27-June 1. Originally set for IMG before the pandemic and ultimately first held in 2020 in the Bahamas, the event, which helped get players like Michael Arroyo, Kristin Munroe, Janero Miller and others seen, is set to have 150 international players make up the rosters, and is sure to be a highly-anticipated few days on the scouting calendar.

The annual NorCal World Series follows that from June 7-9, and will be followed by the return of the Underclass Combines and National Combine, all set for Vanderbilt; The 2028 grads will kick it off from June 26-28, 2025’s follow them from July 8-11 for selection to see who plays at Minute Maid Park, and the 2026’s and 2027’s wrap it up between July 22-25. Those will partially overlap with the National Tournaments — which will return to a standalone format this year — with a tentative schedule set for dates in Tennessee in July as follows; July 16-21: Class of 2026, July 23-28: Class of 2025, July 31- August 4: Classes of 2027-2028.

Still not done?

Still not done.

The Underclass Elite returns for another year, set to return to Fenway Park after debuting in the Boston area this past year. Scheduled for August 30-September 1, the Future Stars Series makes a signature event debut in Boston College with an opening workout there, then heads to the home of the Boston Red Sox for a doubleheader before wrapping up at Delta Dental Stadium, home of the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats, for the finale of the series, which may expand to five games this year with the potential of a game at Delta Dental on Friday night.

That event, set to host some of the top 2026 grads in the country, will be the pipeline to going international once again, when the Caribbean Classic returns the following weekend. The third-year event will return to the format of domestic players facing Latin America and Caribbean teams, and further details will be set on a location in the coming weeks. It is set to be held from September 6-8.

Lastly, the 2027 and 2028 grads won’t be left out, as the Underclass Premier and Fresh 50 will once again be combined into one jam-packed, must-see weekend from September 13-15, with the Future Stars Series slated to return to Hartford’s Dunkin’ Donuts Park for the event.

And as always, Booth hinted at yet another industry changing event to be held toward the end of the summer…but stay tuned for details on that in the coming months.

Mike Ashmore
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