TS Podcast After Hours #04 – Stadiums

JinguStadium-3D-FrontA few years ago we caused a minor kerfuffle when we suggested on a podcast that Jingu should be torn down. Dave and Chris followed up a bit on the next podcast and elucidated some of Jingu Stadium’s issues. Fast forward two years and Dan and I try to suss out the qualities we’d want in the next Jingu Stadium. We discuss some important features we’d want and try to figure out more by going through the various stadiums in Japan.

Also, in an effort to add more music to the podcast I reached out to the band Water Shed who regularly organize Swallows Fan Parties in Tokyo. The next one will be taking place on March 15 at What the Dickens in Ebisu. You can find more information on the event’s Facebook page. Water Shed have been kind enough to give us permission to use their rendition of the Doobie Brother’s Long Train Running (Fukuchi!) in the outro. As usual our intro music  is arranged by Tsubamegun’s own Dave Watkins.

Show Notes

  • Introductions (0:13)
  • Follow Up (1:15)
  • Discussing the New Jingu Ticketing Arrangements (1:40)
  • Why We Like Unreserved Seating (4:19)
  • Features We’d Like in a New Stadium (7:40)
  • Reviewing Japanese Stadiums
    • Yokohama Stadium (8:56)
    • The Cookie-cutter Domes (Fukuoka, Tokyo, Nagoya, and Kyocera) (11:18)
    • Seibu “Dome” (15:13)
    • Koshien (16:24)
    • Mazda Stadium (Hiroshima) (18:00)
    • Kobo Stadium (Sendai) and Hotto Motto Field (Kobe) (19:16)
    • QVC Field (Chiba) (20:07)
  • Summarizing Our Stadium Wishlist (20:47)
  • Closing Remarks (24:16)
  • Outro by Water Shed (25:34)

Additional Links

About Kozo Ota

Kozo Ota is a third-generation Swallows fan that grew up on Montreal Expos baseball. (You can read more about that here.) When he's not at Jingu, he works as a freelance translator/interpreter to make enough money to go to Jingu. You can find random posts by Kozo on Google+ and Twitter.

  • LT

    There are several MLB stadiums with non-reserved or SRO tickets. For example, Wrigley has retained thousands of first come first served bleacher seats even after the big remodel last year.

  • I have been to every regular NPB stadium except Fukuoka, and have also visited a few stadia that frequently host out-of-town games, e.g. Botchan in Matsuyama.

    Stadium qua stadium, I’d say Kobo in Sendai is the best. It’s smallish, has easily accessible facilities at every gate on a mostly continuous concourse, so it’s easy to get in and out or go take a leak without missing an entire inning. The park surrounding makes for nice views, too. The downside is Rakuten’s Disneylandish marketing, which included (as of a few years ago) more cheerleaders and mascots than ballplayers and obnoxious interruptions for dance teams, mascots, or games after almost every inning.

    Sapporo Dome is probably my least favorite – it’s way too big for baseball, has no character, and is far from anything else you’d want to do in Sapporo.

    I seem to remember reading back in 2008 that the architectural firm that designed Mazda Zoom Zoom Stadium Hiroshima (worst stadium name in Japan) consulted with HOK Sport, designer of many recent MLB parks (although that could have been a hallucination induced by the perpetually hazy air inside Nagoya Dome or Tokyo Dome).

    Yokohama and the old Hiroshima Shimin-kyujo would be tied for best location, with Jingu coming very close behind.

    Other than age and history, I don’t see the appeal to Koshien.

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