Archive > 01 March 2009

Tradition Meets the Future: Hanshin Tigers

» 01 March 2009 » In sports business » Comments Off

The biggest rivalry in Japanese baseball is certainly that of the Yomiuri Giants and the Hanshin Tigers. The Tigers are known for their extreme fans and the atmospheres during their games is quite different from other ballparks. The tradition of fans shooting balloons in the seventh inning stretch and after victories is a tremendous sight to see whether you’re a baseball fan or not. Building up the tradition is working beneficial for their business as most fans in attendance look to buy the a of balloons before the seventh inning.

The home of the Hanshin Tigers, Koshien Stadium is every ball player’s dream as the national high school tournament is held every spring and summer. Every high school player dreams to play on the field of Koshien Stadium. The ballpark went under a renovation over a three-year span using the off-season to provide better comfort and safety for the fans, but their goal was to retain the tradition and history of the park. Koshien Staidum added features like royal suite seating, an LED scoreboard, and installation of new stadium lights, which makes the fans have an enjoyable time, but also helps the players as well. The new stadium also added female friendly facilities such as a day-care center and baby beds in the restrooms. The newest addition is box seating created with the image of Japanese bars along the third base called the Mitsuwa Cider Box. Traditional home style seating will allow the fans to watch the games in a very home-like atmosphere. The unique seating will be provided for 79 fans at 51 home games. Naming rights for seats has been a business strategy emphasized in the renovated stadium as three companies has already bought the rights for specific sections of the ballpark. The newest addition and changes to the ballpark can be seen daily by a blog written by an operations staff.

The next plan in the renovation is to include and allow the fans to be a part of the stadium. Thirty thousand fans will be able to purchase a “Koshien Naming Brick Membership” and have their name embedded on bricks outside of the stadium. The bricks will be laid in 2010 and the fee for each name will be 20,100 yen. The funds raised will be directed toward the development of the Koshien History Museum honoring the Tigers players, the ballpark, and the number of high school players creating the drama every season during the national tournament. Creating change is important as a ballclub being part of the entertainment world, but the Hanshin Tigers will always remember to implement the new by keeping the tradition and history of their beloved franchise.

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