In the same way that tourism is an industry without chimneys in the Dominican Republic, baseball, specifically the operations of the Major League, represent an important source of job creation and foreign exchange, a sum that exceeds US $ 360 million annually, according to the organization itself.
The 30 Major League Baseball organizations operate academies in the country and the commissioner’s office has the only address outside the United States, generating “thousands of direct jobs throughout the country,” said the director of that entity, the Dominican Yerik Pérez. .
According to an own study, Major League Baseball operations in the country represent annual revenues of US $ 367.85 million, that is RD $ 21,332 million pesos.
“For 2013, the total annual economic impact of Major League Baseball in the country was around US $ 188 million, but the transfer of operations from Venezuela to the Dominican Republic in its entirety has caused this growth,” Pérez told Diálogo Free.
Each academy of Major League Baseball organizations houses over 40 players and up to about 100, depending on the number of teams they maintain in the Dominican Summer League. Some organizations have two full teams in the Summer League.
In these academies, most of them located in the Boca Chica area, the players receive sports training on the field, but they also receive education, English classes, professional technical courses, interpersonal relations, safe driving, financial operations and how to function in the society.
In 2019 alone, 615 players were signed for professional baseball and they received bonuses of US $ 86.9 million, about 15 percent more than the US $ 68.4 million they received in 2015.
“Contrary to other ‘free zones’, Major League Baseball only takes talent and the money that comes in stays almost entirely in the country,” added the baseball executive.
According to Pérez, Major League Baseball does not have special tax regimes, like other sectors with great economic impact in the country.
“We do not have a special regime like other industries, but we do receive from the authorities the will or willingness to collaborate every time a matter is presented whenever it is needed,” said the executive.
However, some of the 30 organizations of the Mayors operate in the Dominican Republic as non-profit entities, he said.
“Some teams operate as non-profit entities and benefit from Law 122-05 like any other entity, but there is no law that encourages baseball activities in the Dominican Republic,” he added.
What they do have, he assured, is a direct collaboration of the Dominican authorities, both sports and law enforcement and the government in general.
“A year ago, a year or so, we had problems in the academies due to robberies, and at that time the general director of the police moved to the area, worked with the prosecutor and patrols were established to achieve corrections in that regard” remembered.
The chimneyless industry that baseball represents is very well positioned, the Dominican Republic is the main producer of baseball players outside the United States.
“The Dominican Republic has become the center of international operations for Major League Baseball, it is the Mecca of baseball at the international level.”