The Nippon Ham Co, owner of the baseball club the Nippon Ham Fighters, announced today through the website of the Fighters, the club is looking to build a new own stadium. Currently, the team is playing in the city-owned Sapporo Dome and pays ¥8,000,000 for each game played there.
When the club moved away from Tokyo to the island of Hokkaido in 2004, the team found a home in the Sapporo Dome. But with the announcement on their website, it becomes clear the team wants to build a self-financed ballpark.
On their website, the club stated it is still in the face of studying the possibilities of a new ballpark:
In line with its five CSR material issues, Nipponham Group values the statement “supporting mental and physical well-being through food and sport” in order to contribute to making healthy bodies and minds.
The Fighters prize communication with fans and are actively engaged in developing various community events and offering solutions to social issues in order to achieve a goal of building a “Sports Community” in Hokkaido.
Nipponham Group will continue to take on a challenge to deliver added value to the community through ballpark-centered urban development in cooperation with various stakeholders such as local governments, corporations and fans.
2. Concept: Creating a Space representing Hokkaido
NH Foods and the Fighters will develop a ballpark that promotes public health through food and sports, and fosters pride and affection toward Hokkaido.
NH Foods and the Fighters will seek to develop “Co-Creative Space” where diversified communities grow by themselves together with the partners who have expertise and insights in various business areas.
The new venue’s goal is to become “Number one ballpark in Asia” that maximizes players’ performance on the field and international competitiveness as a live entertainment district.
The artist impression of the new ballpark looks pretty slick.
In Japan, there is a trend toward more colorful stadiums. It has probably begun with the refurbishing of the Rakuten’s Kobo Stadium. Seats have been added constantly over the past decade, the scoreboard is exciting and there is a Ferris wheel in left-center field.
With this news from Sapporo, it is likely, the Fighters will be the next team that will play in a new colorful stadium.
The Nippon Ham Fighters are the (former) club of Yu Darvish and Shohei Otani.
One thing is sure. The new ballpark will need a roof because the elements in March and October/November can be harsh.