Changes at Jingu Stadium

Happy New Years, Tokyo Swallows fans! 

Change is in the air.

Change is in the air.

Your Tokyo pitchers and position players are hard at work preparing for spring camp which starts way sooner than any of them would like it to. Surviving a full season of pro ball takes an enormous amount of prep beforehand, and be sure to check Yakyu Baka for all of the ins and outs, overs and throughs of the various players whose workout regimens have been picked by the Japanese press.

But we here at Tsubamegun generally shy away from reporting on what’s going on with players’ individual workouts because every time we talk about it, Yoshinori seems to go down with a season-endangering injury.

So right now I’d like to divert your attention to something that hopefully won’t involve an injury to a player. However, I can’t guarantee that the news that I’m about to share won’t crack your heart just a wee bit.

Item 1

It was announced (article in Japanese) in December that the team and owners of Jingu Stadium had worked out a deal to add roughly 100 deck seats to the right field stands. While this will sound like a great idea to most fans, it hurts Tsubamegun in a proxy-sort-of-way because it’s entirely possible that some of friends from way-way-way back who have sat in the picnic area for decades will find their spots covered with high-priced, temporary seating.

Item 2

Brought to our attention this morning by a loyal Yomiuri hater, it seems like more extensive construction is likely to occur in the immediate vicinity of everyone’s second home, Meiji Jinjgu Yakyu Kyujo.

In yet another ill-advised attempt by a developed country to host the Olympics (again), Tokyo has decided to one-up its own recent loss to Rio for the 2016 hosting honors by preemptively rebuilding some of the structures erected for the 1964 Olympiad. All of this is planned in the hopes of winning the games scheduled for the summer of 2020.

Jingu, of course, is not necessarily off limits in all of this. The article itself is behind the Nikkei paywall, but here’s a choice clip:

A panel to discuss the renovation work will be created next month. It will include representatives from the government-affiliated Japan Sports Council, which manages the National Stadium and the nearby Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium; Meiji Jingu, owner of Jingu Baseball Stadium; the Tokyo Metropolitan Government; and Itochu Corp. (8001) and Mitsui Fudosan Co. (8801), which own nearby buildings.

What could this mean for the Swallows? Draw your own conclusions. If Jingu goes under the knife, then it’s entirely possible that the team will be temporarily relocated. Share Tokyo Dome a la Nippon Ham’s former iteration? Move to Niigata? Hey, you’ve gotta admit that the Swallows were always meant to be playing at Hard Off Stadium.

Anyway, I’m sure that we’ll hear more about these two points over the next month or two. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, let us hear your thoughts, dreams, fears, and obsessions in the comments below.

About Christopher Pellegrini

Christopher is a budding sabermetrician and long-time supporter of Tokyo’s more lovable team, the Swallows. He has publicly volunteered, several times, that he plans to buy the team at some point in the future. When he finally runs the joint, it is likely that he will fine any player who swings at the first pitch or sac bunts (unless it’s a pitcher, of course). Follow him on Twitter: @chrispellegrini

  • Happy New Year! Kotoshi-mo-yoroshiku-onegaishimasu!

    So have you all joined the fan-club?
    I guess the new point system, Swalleage(?) is nice and all, but what a hassle.
    Also, just one free ticket??? boo.
    Since I am planning on buying the new uniforms, and also don’t care for the messenger bag, it seems the “light member” is the way to go, but “light member”??? It feels like getting on a bandwagon.
    Oh well…

  • MooreyTokyo

    Happy New year all….  Interested by your comments above Ryo, I wonder if someone could give a more in depth explanation of the fan club and how it works this year?  Easy for me to say, but possibly even worth an article in it’s own right? 😉

    I usually just sign up on my first game at Jingu each season, but is there any advantage to making an effort to join earlier than that?  Over the past few years I have paid just ¥5,000 and got 5 free games plus the freebies.  Sounds like this year is quite a change?

    Thanks all,
    James 

    • Kozo

       I am preparing a post on this topic, but I’ve held off from writing it until I can get a few questions answered.

  • Kozo

    The Swallows finally released some more details about the “7-Eleven Deck Seats.”  Looking at the concept photo it looks like our friends are going to be displaced.

  • Jon

    I have heard rumor that there will be opening a new american style BBQ stand, this is reat news!