According to Sponichi, the NPB isn't all too happy about the current capacity of Kleenex Stadium, which at 22,078 happens to be the smallest home stadium in the NPB.
When the Eagles first joined the NPB back in 2004, they apparently made a promise to the NPB that they would add enough seats to accommodate 28,000 fans after a few years of operation.
Why such a big deal?
The NPB calculated potential losses of 100M yen because the seating capacity of Kleenex Stadium was roughly half of what the Sapporo Dome can hold. The Eagles replied that they would simply raise the cost of tickets in order to make up for the losses, but that wasn't really enough to assuage the NPB.
Hold on a second.
Raise the ticket prices to match the revenue of Sapporo Dome?
Assuming the Eagles were really serious about raising ticket prices in order to match the potential revenue of a stadium that was twice its size, wouldn't that mean the cost of each ticket would double (I'm sure there are other considerations to be made, but just for the sake of argument)?
That probably would have priced most tickets over the 10,000yen range.
Sure, fans might still line up to buy tickets, but is that really the way you win over fans in the long-run? And during a time when things were so volatile?
I mean, part of the whole complaint the fans had in staging their protest after the last regular season game at Kleenex Stadium had to do with ticket prices.
Would doubling ticket prices really have been the smart thing to do?
But I guess that's a moot point since the Eagles never made it to the Nippon Series. And in the end, we'll never really know what the Eagles would have done in order to match the revenue of Sapporo Dome.
Sponichi continues that the NPB may not allow the Eagles to play a Nippon Series at Kleenex Stadium if they don't do something about the seating capacity.
And this wouldn't be the first case.
The Lotte Orions called the stadium their home when they made it to the Nippon Series in 1974. But due to the size of the stadium, they played their home games at Korakuen Stadium.
And the same thing could be in store for the Eagles if they aren't careful.