With the twin goals of maximizing player performance and generating a solid economic impact via associated development, the owners of the Nippon-Ham Fighters unveiled plans for a new ballpark and entertainment district in Kitahiroshima, Hokkaido.
Hokkaido Ballpark is expected to cost $530 million and open in March 2023 after a 2020 groundbreaking. With a retractable roof and a capacity of 35,000, the design-build project will be overseen by HKS and Obayahsi.
“The new Hokkaido Ballpark will be an iconic symbol of its community,” said John Hutchings, HKS Principal. “We seek to create the best ballpark in Japan for players, fans and the community.”
We’ve seen the success of ballparks and associated entertainment district in the United States, and the owner of the Ham Fighters, NH Foods, is using that model with Hokkaido Ballpark, set to replace the Sapporo Dome as the team’s home. The project is set to include retail, hospitality, residential, parks and public spaces. The ultimate goal, according to a NH Foods press release, is to “develop a ballpark that promotes public health through food and sports, and fosters pride and affection toward Hokkaido.
“The new venue’s goal is to establish ‘a ballpark the world has never seen before’ that maximizes players’ performance on the field and international competitiveness as a live entertainment district. ”
Here’s the eye candy in the form of renderings from NH Foods and HKS: