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Hokkaido to receive retractable-roof ballpark

Japanese baseball team the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters has announced plans for a new ballpark that will feature a retractable roof.

The team hopes the the 35,000-seat venue, which will become the first ballpark in Japan to have a retractable roof, will be ready by March 2023.

The venue has been given the tentative name of ‘Hokkaido Ballpark’, with the Fighters confirming the construction will cost approximately JPY60bn (£405m/€464m/$530m). The four-storey building will feature a field below ground level with a symmetrical surface.

The Fighters hope to break ground on the stadium in the spring of 2020 and complete work by January 2023 before moving in two months later. HKS Architects has been contracted to take part in the stadium design.

The Fighters said the goal of the stadium is to establish “a ballpark the world has never seen before” that maximises player performances and doubles up as a thriving entertainment district. The roof will be designed to replicate traditional old-style Hokkaido homes, with a huge exterior transparent glass wall.

The Fighters currently play at the Sapporo Dome, which was originally built for football’s FIFA World Cup in 2002.

Image: Hokkaido Ballpark YouTube