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[12/14/2013] Parent company Rakuten might be front-runner to land naming rights to Miyagi Stadium

by on Dec.14, 2013 @ 8:17 pm, under NPB
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Two companies submitted bids for the naming rights to Miyagi Municipal Stadium.  Miyagi Prefecture is looking for a company that can pay 200 million yen or more a year for three or more years, beginning in January 1, 2014.  Rakuten Eagles' the parent company Rakuten was one of the two companies and is reportedly the front-runner (bids from both companies were at or above the requirements).  A decision will be finalized before the end of the year.

Source: Nikkan Sports 12/14/2013, Kahoku Online 12/14/203

[UPDATE 12/15 @ 7:37pm]

Rakuten may have won naming rights to Miyagi Stadium for 210 million yen a year.  The new stadium could be named Rakuten kobo Stadium.

Source: Sponichi 12/15/2013, Kahoku Online 12/15/2013

[UPDATE 12/16 @ 3:58pm]

According to ZakZak, of the 200 million yen Nippon Seishi paid for naming rights to Miyagi Stadium every year, three-quarters went to the Eagles.  They might end up losing that money if Rakuten wins the bid.

Source: ZakZak 12/16/2013

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[11/1/2013] Nippon Seishi’s contract with Miyagi to end this year, no more Kleenex Stadium

by on Nov.01, 2013 @ 8:36 pm, under NPB
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Nippon Seishi's contract for the naming rights to Miyagi Municipal Stadium ends at the end of the year.  The contract will not be renewed.

In 2008, Nippon Seishi signed a three-year deal at 250 million yen a year with Miyagi Prefecture for the naming rights to Miyagi Municipal Stadium.  Under the original deal, the stadium was formally called Kleenex Stadium Miyagi.  Nippon Seishi renewed the three-year deal at 200 million yen a year in 2011 and changed the name to Nippon Seishi Klenenex Stadium Miyagi.

Nippon Seishi held exclusive negotiating rights with Miyagi through August.  The company informed the prefecture and the Rakuten Eagles they were not planning to renew the deal again.  The prefecture could begin accepting new bids in early November.

Source: Daily Sports 11/1/2013, Asahi Shimbun 11/1/2013, Jiji Press 11/1/2013, Kahoku Shimpo 11/1/2013

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[10/1/2013] Rakuten Eagles officially announce plans to push capacity at Kleenex Stadium to over 28,000

by on Oct.01, 2013 @ 5:47 pm, under NPB
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The Rakuten Eagles officially announced their plans to expand capacity at Kleenex Stadium to over 28,000 by October 26.  The additions will take place over three periods in October.

October 3 - addition of 217 seats - 25,651 to 25,868

sixty temporary seats near the left field foul pole
seventy-two temporary seats near the left field foul pole, upper section
sixty temporary seats near the right field foul pole
192 total seats

twenty-five reserved outfield seats
25 total seats

October 17 - addition of 1,097 seats - 25,868 to 26,965

temporary seats, wood deck section first base side
temporary seats, third floor concourse
temporary seats, infield concourse third base side
temporary seats under the big screen in right
224 total seats

standing-room section, non-reserved, wood deck section first base side
standing-room section, reserved, third floor concourse
standing-room section, non-reserved, infield concourse third base side
standing-room section, non-reserved, infield upper section third base side
873 total seats

October 26 Nippon Series (planned) - addition of 1,155 seats - 26,965 to 28,120

standing-room section, non-reserved, third floor concourse
right-field, free
1,155 total seats

Kleenex Stadium Capacity History

Year Month (Day) Capacity
2012   23,026
2013 January 23,451
2013 April 23,466
2013 September 25,651
2013 October 3 25,868
2013 October 17 26,965
2013 October 26 28,120

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Source: official announcement

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[8/12/2013] Rakuten Eagles announce plans to increase seating capacity at Kleenex Stadium

by on Aug.12, 2013 @ 5:50 pm, under NPB
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The Rakuten Eagles held a press conference to announce their plans to add 2,185 seats to Kleenex Stadium before mid-September.  The capacity at the stadium will go up from 23,466 to 25,651.

"The fans have shown their support by helping us sellout tickets to our last few games.  The team has also done a great job on the field.  Within all that, many people told me in June and July that they had a hard time buying tickets and that they thought we should increase capacity.  I spoke to people in the organization and we began thinking about ways to add more seats.  I announce today, our decision to add 2,185 seats," said team rep Yozo Tachibana.

According to Nikkan Sports, the Eagles will spend about forty million yen in construction costs.

Seats Additions

Infield Third Base Side, special stands, 936 seats
Construction: late August (planned)
Open: September 3 vs Seibu (planned)

Outfield Area in Left, special stands, 1,249 seats
Construction: early September (planned)
Open: September 13 vs Orix (planned)

Tickets for the new seats will become available for purchase on August 19 (planned).

Circles in image below indicate sections where seats will be added.

Kleenex Stadium

Source (including image): official announcement, Nikkan Sports 8/12/2013

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About four hundred more seats will be added to Kleenex Stadium

by on Dec.18, 2012 @ 5:41 pm, under NPB
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The Rakuten Eagles announced their plans for renovations they are planning at Kleenex Stadium during the winter.

Coca-Cola Box Seats 5 Expnsion
The box seats on the first base side will be expanded to fit a maximum 345 seats.

New nets for the back-stop area
Toyobo Dyneema Nets used at MLB stadiums like Yankee Stadium and Safeco Field will replace the current back-stop netting.  The nets will also be used on the first and third base sides.  The fences protecting the field seats will also be replaced with something that provides better visibility (like thinner wires).

New padding for the outfield walls
Skydex Wall Pads from Promats Athletics will be used for the outfield walls.  The fences will also be lowered.

New outfield seats in left and right
The walls in left and right will be pulled in.  Forty-six seats (twenty-three pairs plus tables) will be added in left and forty-four seats (eleven grounds of four plus tables) in right.  4Topps seats and tables will be used.

Attendance: 23,026 (current) to 23,451 (2013)
Fences in Left and Right: 101.5 meters (current) to 100.1 meters (2013)
Fences in the Gaps in Left and Right: 117.0 meters (current) to 116.0 meters (2013)
Centerfield Fence: 122.0 meters (current) no change
Fence Height: 2.8 meters (current) to 2.5 meters (2013)
Foul Poles: 15 meters (current) to 16.2 meters (2013) 

The renovations will cost about 400 million yen.  Construction should be completed by mid-March.

Source: official announcement, Sponichi 12/18/2012

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Sponichi: Rakuten Eagles interested in converting Kleenex Stadium into natural grass field

by on Aug.28, 2012 @ 3:39 pm, under NPB
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According to a report by Sponichi, the Eagles would like to convert Kleenex Stadium into a natural grass field.  If talks with stadium owners (Miyagi Prefecture) go well, construction (estimated at over 100M yen) to swap out the artificial turf could take place after the current season.

General maintenance costs are also expected to rise (due to the weather in Sendai), but Rakuten is not as worried about the costs as they are about providing fans (an MLB like experience) and players (less strain on the body) with the best all-around environment.

There are currently only two NPB fields that have natural grass in both the infield and outfield: Hiroshima's Mazda Stadium and Orix's Hotto Motto Field Kobe.  Koshien Stadium does use natural grass, but only in the outfield (the infield is all dirt).

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Sendai High Court rejects fan’s lawsuit against Kleenex Stadium

by on Oct.15, 2011 @ 1:48 am, under NPB
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In May 2008, a 49-year-old man sitting in the infield section on the third base side at Kleenex Stadium took a foul ball off his right eye while watching a game.  He claimed that he suffered vision loss and sued the owner (Miyagi Prefecture) and operator (Rakuten Eagles) of the stadium for about 44M yen in damages.  On Friday, the Sendai High Court supported Sendai's 1st District Court's original ruling and rejected the man's appeal on the grounds that the stadium owner and operator were taking enough precautionary measures to protect fans.  The High Court also hinted (interestingly enough) that the protective netting might be taking away from the overall realism of the game and that some stadiums may soon opt to remove such barriers.

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The NPB after the big quake, Day 111 [June 30, 2011]

by on Jun.30, 2011 @ 10:31 pm, under NPB
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I'll keep this updated throughout the day.

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Chunichi Dragons

Chunichi announced today that they'll try to cut back a little more on energy use at Nagoya Dome, beginning on 7/5 (vs Hanshin).  Amongst some of the things they'll be doing: opening up the shutters in the roof during visiting team practices (the Dragons have been doing this for their practices since earlier this month); and attempting to shutout the warm air from the outside by adding cloth screens to four entry gates.

Hiroshima Carp

Beginning on 7/1, the Carp plan on conserving energy by taking on a more flexible approach to their lighting system during night games; using fewer lights during night games; and  adjusting thermostats for air-conditioning units used by various staff and personnel.

Softbank Hawks

The Hawks announced today that they'll try to reduce energy consumption by about 5% during weekday night games at Yahoo Dome between 7/1 and 8/31.  They try to do this by using fewer ceiling lights (from 90 to 54), turning off some of the air conditioning systems (from 14 to 10), and turning off some of the lights in seat areas.  According to an unnamed club source, the team has already tested the configuration during practices at Yahoo Dome on 6/22 and 6/24.

Orix Buffaloes

The Buffaloes announced today that beginning on 7/1, they'll use power generators at Kyocera Dome in order to cut back on energy use by about 10%.  They will also stop lighting Kyocera Dome up (outdoor lights).

Rakuten Eagles

The Eagles announced that they'll be taking the following measures to cut back on energy use at Kleenex Stadium between 7/1 and 9/9:

- Turn off unnecessary lighting (60%)
- Dim the big screen in the outfield to 40% brightness
- Set thermostats to 28 degrees Celsius
- Turn off all air-conditioning systems in the stadium offices between 6pm and 8pm.

Doing all this should allow the Eagles to decrease energy consumption by around 15%.

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Miyagi HSBF likely to allow NPB use of Kleenex Stadium for All-Star Game on 7/24

by on May.26, 2011 @ 11:27 pm, under High School, NPB
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The Miyagi High School Baseball Federation held a meeting today and discussed the issue of allowing the NPB to use Kleenex Stadium for an All-Star Game on 7/24.  As of now, the Federation is in support of shifting the schedule around for the Miyagi Tournament in order to accommodate the NPB's request.  A final decision will be made during a board of directors meeting on the 31st.

See also:

NPB checking on availability of Kleenex Stadium for All-Star game

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NPB checking on availability of Kleenex Stadium for All-Star game

by on May.25, 2011 @ 12:23 am, under High School, NPB
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The NPB is looking into whether or not it can play the third game of the All-Star Series (7/24) at Kleenex Stadium this year. And in order to do that, they'll have to get permission from the Miyagi High School Baseball Federation because the finals game for the 93rd Miyagi Tournament happens to take place on the same day.

The Miyagi High School Baseball Federation has yet to sit down and discuss the schedule for the tournament and isn't currently in any position to say whether or not it's possible.  The matter will be brought up during a steering committee meeting on the 31st.

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