Archive > 20 May 2009

Swine Flu Effect

» 20 May 2009 » In international baseball, npb, sports business » 4 Comments

As we all are aware by now, the swine flu epidemic is causing problems all around the world and is even affecting baseball and baseball fans in Japan. Along with the economic climate, the flu epidemic will be another problem teams will need to fight through during the season to maintain their attendance.

The most immediate loss caused by the outbreak will be the sale of jet balloons. One of the traditions in Japanese baseball, especially at Koshien Stadium is the jet balloons that fans shoot during the 7th inning stretch and after a victory. The risk has gotten too big to allow the fans to continue the tradition and three teams have already prohibited the use and sales of jet balloons in the ballpark including the Hanshin Tigers.

Cautious fans are protecting themselves by wearing masks at the game and players are also doing the same while traveling on the road. Despite this, NPB has not yet taken the measure of actually cancelling games. NPB may need to prepare for the worst, if the situation does not improve, as many sporting events and concerts have already been cancelled in Japan.

Tigers fans who have already purchased tickets are asking for refunds at Koshien Stadium. The longer the swine flu is around, the more it will affect the game of baseball.

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