HOKKAIDO, Japan (CelebrityAccess) The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters baseball club has hired HKS Architects to build its $500 million-plus stadium in Hokkaido, Japan.
The club hired HKS Architects (US Bank Stadium, American Airlines Center, etc.) after announcing in March it would choose the city of Kitahiroshima for its new ballpark. The team, based in Sapporo, the capital of Japan’s northernmost main island, has played at the Sapporo Dome since 2004 but, “We simply cannot make a profit at Sapporo Dome,” one team exec told Kyodo News earlier this year.
The striking new facility and entertainment district is expected to begin construction in 2020 and to be completed in 2023 with a capacity of 35,00 and Japan’s first baseball stadium with a retractable roof, according to Pan Stadia. Hokkaido has freezing winters and the roof is expected to preserve the facility’s natural grass, which was strongly desired by the team.
The entertainment district is expected to include retail, hospitality, residential, parks and public spaces. The high-peaked roof is reminiscent of traditional old-style Hokkaido homes and the venue will have a massive transparent glass wall on the outfield side of the park, according to Pan Stadia.