Barranquilla in Colombia will now host the 2018 Under-23 Baseball World Cup after unrest in Nicaragua saw the country stripped of the competition ©WBSC

Barranquilla in Colombia has been named as the new host of this year's World Baseball Softball Confederation (WSBC) Under-23 Baseball World Cup, after Nicaragua were stripped of the competition.

The Colombian city will now host the event, largely in the newly built Edgar Renteria Baseball Stadium, which seats 12,000 fans and cost $33 million (£25.1 million/€28.1 million) to build.

The under-23 tournament was originally awarded to Nicaragua, but the WBSC decided to strip the central American country of the rights due to the current unrest in the country.

Protests against the nation's social security system have turned deadly with hundreds killed or missing and thousands injured.

Colombia's Edgar Renteria Stadium has quickly become the primary baseball venue in South America and has been described as the "jewel" of the Central American and Caribbean Games, which are currently taking place in the city.

"Barranquilla - the excellent organisers of the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games - have built the premier baseball stadium in South America, and it is the ideal setting to showcase the best under-23 players and teams in the world," said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari.

"Baseball is one of the most popular sports in Colombia, and the Colombian leaders have done a great job expanding the baseball and sports infrastructure in their great country - and the Under-23 Baseball World Cup will spotlight this to the world in October."

As the new hosts, Colombia have been given a wildcard into the competition to compete against 11 of the best baseball nations in the world ©WBSC
As the new hosts, Colombia have been given a wildcard into the competition to compete against 11 of the best baseball nations in the world ©WBSC

The tournament will not be exclusively played out in Barranquilla, however.

Stadiums in Repelón and Manatí will also host matches in the competition with both around 100 kilometres south of Barranquilla.

Colombian Baseball Federation President Jimmy Char said the event will be the "biggest baseball  event ever" in his country, while Barranquilla Mayor Alejandro Char thanked Fraccari for the chance to host the tournament.

"We are very excited to welcome the participating nations to our wonderful city for this celebration of baseball at Edgar Rentería Stadium, our new jewel venue that will leave participants and fans in awe," he said.

As the newly crowned hosts, the Colombian team have been granted a wildcard to compete at the event.

They will join 11 other nations including the defending champions Japan, in the fight for the top prize in under-23 baseball.

The tournament will take place from October 19 to 28.