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[7/4/2013] Hanshin Tigers, Yomiuri Giants give up on starting 2014 in US

by on Jul.05, 2013 @ 12:38 am, under NPB

The Hanshin Tigers and Yomiuri Giants have reportedly given up on the idea of starting the 2014 season in the US.  An unnamed baseball source said to reporters, "Money and scheduling issues are big concerns and difficult to overcome realistically.  This was a decision that was reached after [both teams] did their research."  Another source told reporters that it would cost each team about 100 million yen to charter flights during their stay in the US.  And without knowing how many fans they can draw to games, the risk of losing a lot of money was too great.

Source: Sponichi 7/5/2013, Daily Sports 7/5/2013 (same report)

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UPDATE 7/5 @ 7:18pm -

NPB Commissioner Ryozo Kato spoke to reporters today and said he was disappointed to hear about how the plans to start the 2014 season in the US fell through.

"This is essentially a problem for the twelve teams [to work out] since this does not fall under the category of things the NPB handles.  I am sure the teams did their research -- if the numbers did not add up, then this would be the result of that.  It is not my place to try and make things work," said Kato.

Source: Nikkan Sports 7/5/2013

UPDATE 7/5 @ 11:48pm -

Yomiuri Giants president Tsunekazu Momoi spoke to reporters today and said the biggest reason why they decided not to open the 2014 season in the US had to do with player conditioning and difficult travel schedules.

Had the Giants decided to open the season in the US, they would have made Los Angeles their temporary home.  They checked to see if they could keep their players in the general area to avoid the rigors of travel, but found that that would be impossible.

"We wanted to play [practice games] in Los Angeles but could not.  That would mean having to travel," said Momoi.

Source: Sanspo 7/5/2013

UPDATE 7/7 @ 3:06am -

The two teams were apparently ready to go along with plans where Dodger Stadium would be the Giants' home field for a game on March 21 and Angel Stadium the Tigers' home field for a game on March 22.  The Giants wanted to schedule a number of practice games in Los Angeles, but could not find any.  The Tigers were concerned about the potential for lost revenue since they usually average about 100 million yen for games at Koshien.

Source: Sponichi 7/6/2013

"In discussing things with Hanshin, we decided to hold off on our plans [to start the 2014 season].  We felt we might be able to manage on the financial side, but the biggest problem was not being able to organize practice games in Los Angeles [before the start of the season]," said Momoi.

Source: Sports Hochi 7/6/2013

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