It is said that the best marketing in professional sports is grades. The situation of the Nippon Ham Fighters of the Nippon Professional Baseball, which has already started to be cut in half despite the opening of a state-of-the-art stadium at a cost of 60 billion yen, is well illustrated.
On the 18th, 16,606 spectators entered the match between Nippon Ham and Chiba Lotte Marines held at Scorn Field in Kitahiroshima, Hokkaido, Japan. The record for the smallest number of spectators among 7 games at Scorn Field this season.
Japan’s ‘Daily Sports’ said,스포츠토토 ‘Nippon Ham suffered a 3-game losing streak (2-4). The win-loss margin recorded -7, the most this season.” It was a weekday game, but for the first time, it was reduced to less than 20,000 people. Compared to the opening game (31,092 people), it was almost cut in half.”
Scorn Field, which had 31,092 people in the season opener against Rakuten Golden Eagles on the 30th of last month, also achieved a high score with 30,637 and 30,775 people in the weekend game against Rakuten on the 1st and 2nd, respectively.
However, the number of spectators continued to decrease to 26,602, 23,269, and 21,725, respectively, against the Seibu Lions on the 14th and 16th, which were three consecutive weekend matches. Eventually, in the game on the 18th, even 20,000 people collapsed, putting an emergency on the box office.
It’s because of Nippon Ham’s poor performance. It is the beginning of the season with only 15 games played, but with 4 wins and 11 losses, the win rate (.267) is the lowest among the 12 clubs in both major leagues. His team ERA (3.70) is the highest, and his batting average (.196) is the second lowest. Nippon Ham, who hit the bottom last year as well in the Pacific League, has been unable to break out of sluggishness in Class B for four consecutive years since 2019.
The expression of Nippon-Ham coach Tsuyoshi Shinzo, a ‘geek’ who must produce results in his second year in office, is also getting darker. After losing the game on the 18th, coach Shinzo said, “I am the most depressed. The players don’t seem to be like that,” he joked, adding, “It’s my responsibility if the game doesn’t go well. If one or two players create something, the momentum will come. He hasn’t even played 30 games yet,” he said, hoping for a rebound.
Built with 35,000 seats at a cost of 60 billion yen, Scornfield boasts state-of-the-art facilities as the seventh dome stadium in Japanese history and the second retractable dome stadium in Asia following the Fukuoka Paypay Dome, home of the Softbank Hawks. There are two electronic display boards of the world’s largest size on the first and third bases, and 12 escalators are installed everywhere. You can watch baseball at the hotel, hot spring, and sauna, which are complex facilities within the stadium.
It has emerged as a landmark for the development of the local economy by developing the surrounding area around the baseball field. However, the problem of accessibility due to traffic inconvenience has not yet been resolved. Above all, if Nippon Ham’s poor performance continues, the effect will inevitably be insignificant.