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New Stadium Considered For Sapporo

SAPPORO, Japan (CelebrityAccess) — Japanese professional baseball team the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters are weighing building a brand new stadium near the northern Japanese city of Sapporo.

According to the Nikkei Asian Review, the 30,000-seat stadium would serve as a permanent home for the team and would feature a retractable roof and be purpose-built for baseball. The franchise has identified 15 potential locations for the project, mostly located near the city for of Sapporo, Nikkei said.

The team, which is part of the Pacific League, currently plays at the Sapporo Dome, with a capacity of 41,138, but is required to pay an ¥8 million (about 72,000 USD) daily usage fee in addition to a service charge of ¥400 (about $3.60) per head any time the attendance surpasses 20,000.

“We owe it to Sapporo Dome for being able to play baseball even when it snowed,” Nippon Ham manager Hideki Kuriyama told the Japan Times. “We are grateful, but there is a lot more we can do. We’re trying to explore possibilities here.”

The stadium, as envisaged, would cost an estimated 50 billion yen ($457 million) to construct. – Staff Writers