Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Location||Nishinomiya, Hyogo, Japan|
|Opened||August 1, 1924|
|Owned By||Hanshin Electric Railway|
Hanshin Kōshien Stadium (阪神甲子園球場, Hanshin Kōshien Kyūjō) is a baseball park located near Kobe in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. The stadium was built to house the national high school baseball championship, and opened on April 1, 1924. It was the largest stadium in Asia at the time it was completed, with a capacity of 53,000. The design of the stadium was heavily influenced by the Polo Grounds in New York City. In 1936 it became the home stadium for the Osaka Tigers (current Hanshin Tigers), now with the Central League. On February 14, 1964, the name of the baseball park changed from Koshien Stadium to Hanshin Koshien Stadium.
In addition to the annual National High School Baseball Championship Series , played in August, the stadium hosts the annual Spring High School Baseball Tournament in March, a smaller, invitational tournament. Both tournaments are generally known simply as Kōshien. The high school tournaments are given a higher priority, with any tournament games that need to be rescheduled forcing the Tigers to postpone or cancel conflicting home games.
Repairs in the 21st Century
The Great Hanshin earthquake of 1995 affected Kōshien. Cracks appeared and part of the stands collapsed. July, 2004, a concrete plan surfaced for improvement of the complete baseball ground facilities.
It will begin with the construction during the off-season of 2008 while the stadium continues in use for baseball. Later stages will follow during the off-season, and the target for completion of large-scale construction is 2010 or later.
The main improvements are the following:
- As much as it is possible, it will preserve the conditions of the present baseball grounds, including the ivy, which has become a symbol of the stadium
- The infield will be earth
- The outfield will have natural grass and be open to the air (no roof over the grounds)
- The Ginsan roof over the grandstand will be removed and replaced with a modern roof without pillars.
- The seating capacity will be reduced to about 50 000 people to help make the stadium barrier-free
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