Koshien Stadium


Koshien Stadium

Infobox stadium
stadium_name=Hanshin Koshien Stadium
nickname=Koshien Stadium, Koshien


location=Nishinomiya, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan
coordinates=coord|34|43|17.19|N|135|21|41.34|E|region:JP_type:landmark|display=inline,title
opened=August 1, 1924
owner=Hanshin Electric Railway Co., Ltd.
operator=Hanshin Tigers Co., Hanshin Engei Co.
former_names=Koshien Large Sports Field (1924 - )
Koshien Stadium (- 1964)
seating_capacity=approx. 60,000 (from the opening)
approx. 80,000 (after the completion of all the seats)
approx. 55,000 (- 2001)
50,454 (2002 - 2007)
46,229 (as of 2008) [http://www.hanshin.co.jp/koshien/qa/answer01.html#a24]
architect=Ōbayashi gumi
tenants=Hanshin Tigers (Central League/NPB) - (1936 - Present)
National High School Baseball Championship (JHSBF) - (1924 - 1940, 1947 - Present)
National High School Baseball Invitational Tournament (JHSBF) - (1925 - Present)
dimensions=1924-1949
Foul line: 110m (360 ft)
Power alley: 128m (420 ft)
Center: 120m (394 ft)

1949-1991
Foul line: 91m (299 ft)
Power alley: 119m (390 ft)
Center: 120m (394 ft)

as of 2008
Foul line: 96m (315 ft)
Power alley: 119m (390 ft)
Center: 120m (394 ft)

nihongo|Hanshin Kōshien Stadium|阪神甲子園球場|Hanshin Kōshien Kyūjō is a baseball park located near Kobe in Nishinomiya, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. The stadium was built to host the national high school baseball tournaments, and opened on April 1, 1924. It was the largest stadium in Asia at the time it was completed, with a capacity of 55,000.

The name Kōshien (甲子園) comes from the Sexagenary cycle system. The year of the stadium's founding, 1924, was the first year kōshi (甲子) in the cycle. The design of the stadium was heavily influenced by the Polo Grounds in New York City. In 1936 it became the home stadium for the Osaka Tigers (current Hanshin Tigers), now with the Central League. On February 14, 1964, the name of the baseball park changed from Koshien Stadium to Hanshin Koshien Stadium.

In addition to the annual National High School Baseball Championship, played in August, the stadium hosts the annual National High School Baseball Invitational Tournament in March, a smaller, invitational tournament. Both tournaments are generally known simply as "Kōshien". The high school tournaments are given a higher priority, with any tournament games that need to be rescheduled forcing the Tigers to postpone conflicting home games.

Legendary home run hitter Babe Ruth played an exhibition game at Koshien on his Japan tour in 1934. There is a plaque at the stadium commemorating the event.

Repairs in the 21st century

The Great Hanshin earthquake of 1995 affected Kōshien. Cracks appeared and part of the stands collapsed. In July 2004, a concrete plan surfaced for improvement of the complete baseball ground facilities.

Construction will begin during the off-season of 2008 while the stadium continues in use for baseball. Later stages will follow during the off-season, and the target for completion of large-scale construction is 2010 or later.

The main points of the plan are the following:

*As much as is possible, the present conditions of the baseball grounds will be preserved, including the Wrigley Field-inspired ivy, which has become a symbol of the stadium
*The infield will continue to be earth
*The outfield will continue to be natural grass and be open to the air (no roof over the grounds)
*The "Ginsan" roof over the grandstand will be removed and replaced with a modern roof without pillars.
*The seating capacity will be reduced to about 50,000 people to help make the stadium barrier-free

Price ranges

The stadium has of four seating price ranges.

The top seats are the ¥4,000 green seats directly behind home plate. These seats are entirely covered and corporate. The seats in the infield are colored green on the first base side and the third base side and called "Ivy Seat". Both sides are ¥4,000. The outfield benches along the lines are called the "Alps" and they are ¥2,500. The outfield seats are ¥1,700.

As with all Japanese stadiums, the home supporters sit in right field and the away supporters in left field. However, even if the opponents are the Giants, the away supporters rarely constitute more than one section high up in left field. On most nights the stadium is jam-packed with cramped seating.

Appearances in fiction

Koshien plays a big part in many baseball manga series, including "Touch" and "H2" by Mitsuru Adachi. The park also plays a part, in name, in the anime "Princess Nine". The events of the 2-hour Detective Conan special episode "Miracle at Koshien Ball Park! The Defiants Face the Dark Demon" take place in the stadium. In the light novel and anime adaptation of "Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya" (specifically the episode "Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Part 5"), Haruhi's explanation of why she searches for the supernatural involves a baseball game she viewed with her family in Koshien.

Access

Koshien Stadium is a two minute walk from Koshien Station on the Hanshin Electric Railway Main Line. There is no parking lot at the stadium. Regular television commercials during game broadcasts encourage the public to use public transportation.

ee also

*High school baseball in Japan
*Koshien Bowl

External links

* [http://www.hanshin.co.jp/koshien/ Hanshin Koshien Stadium (in Japanese)]


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