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[5/22/2014] Expansion to help the economy; CL wants fewer Inter-league games

by on May.23, 2014 @ 2:18 am, under NPB

The Liberal Democratic Party of Japan is reportedly interested in seeing the NPB expand to sixteen teams as a way to help revitalize local and regional economies.  However, it is uncertain if there are any businesses interested in taking the risk to own a team.

New potential locations could include Shizuoka Prefecture, the Hokushinetsu region, the Shikoku region, and Okinawa.

Source: Sponichi 5/20/2014

Reuters has a bit more on the topic:

... A set of recommendations to lift growth in Japan's economy drafted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's party seen by Reuters calls for slashing corporate taxes, reforming public pensions, and -- in a curve ball -- increasing the number of professional baseball teams to 16 from 12.

"Prosperous baseball teams could strengthen attachment to regional cities and help local economies thrive," said the report, which cited the success of U.S. Major League Baseball in nearly doubling from 16 teams to 30 since the 1960s.

... "Unless there are companies that are willing to sponsor the new teams, this could be difficult," said Munehiko Harada, professor at the faculty of sport sciences of Waseda University.

"Without a solid financial foundation, it would be hard to poach good players and balance the strength of the teams."

Source: Reuters 5/20/2014

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The Central League would like to decrease the number Inter-league games from twenty-four games to either twelve or eighteen because of scheduling issues.  There are even some CL teams that are considering the complete elimination of Inter-league play, but are willing to first see how things work after a reduction.

When the number of Inter-league games was first dropped from thirty-six to twenty-four after the 2006 season, CL teams were actually interested in a drop to eighteen.  They were concerned about the extra day off a week that pushed the entire schedule back.

If there is going to be a change in the schedule for 2015, a final decision will have to be made around July.

Source: Sports Hochi 5/20/2014

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3 comments on “[5/22/2014] Expansion to help the economy; CL wants fewer Inter-league games

  1. muratafan

    While I would like to see NPB in more locales, I am not sure that expansion is the way to accomplish it. I don’t think that have 5 teams in Tokyo is a great idea and I would not be opposed to seeing at least 2 of them leave for Niigata and/or Matsuyama in Shikoku. To me, the ultimate place for NPB would be Nagasaki as it is so picturesque and it could have a stadium like the Pittsburgh Pirates. Alas, that won’t happen.

    On the other hand, Niigata would be an ideal place for NPB and for tourism. Would love to see a team like Yakult or Seibu or (I know Steve would kill me for saying this) Chiba based out of Niigata. I am not so sure too many people would miss Orix if they left either. I do know that I would certainly take a road trip to Niigata if an NPB was stationed there.

    1. Steve Novosel

      Well, there’s been rumors for years that Lotte wanted to move the team to Niigata, and there’s even the rumor that Lotte would sell the team to Lixil, who I believe are originally from Niigata. So there’s that.

      The main problem with Niigata is the weather is far worse in the Spring than either Chiba or Sendai, and that stadium is open air.

  2. NPB Card Guy

    How much would transportation play into a city’s chances for expansion or relocation? Niigata is on a shinkansen line to Tokyo so it’s pretty accessible but Matsuyama and Nagasaki are not.

    Expansion would be fascinating to watch. I wonder if NPB would split each league into two divisions for a less odd playoff system than the current one. It’s probably not going to happen though.

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