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Pro baseball regular games to debut here next summer

Date Posted: 2009-11-19

Mark your calendar for June 29th 2010, and be listening to the familiar strains of ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’ because professional baseball is coming to Naha City’s new Onoyama Baseball Stadium.

It’s something that hasn’t happened in Okinawa since 1975, when the last regular season professional baseball game was played here. This go around, it’s the Yokohama Baystars taking on the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. It will be a night game, local organizers say, played in the new stadium. The Onoyama Baseball Stadium is so new, there’s still construction work taking place, but that will all be finished next April.

Beginning in Spring 2011,the Yomiuri Giants baseball team will conduct its spring training at the new stadium, which can seat 15,000 inside and another 15,000 outside. Naha City officials say negotiations are under way with companies wanting to sponsor a name for the new stadium.

“As everybody knows, Okinawa has 10 teams doing their winter-spring training camps here,” says Naha City’s mayor, Takeshi Onaga, “ and I believe or hope that the official ball games will increase and many teams will play here.” The mayor says “for the children it will be a very good chance to see professional players, as they watch and see their dreams come true.” Mayor Onaga says he wants to see professional players coming from Okinawa in the future.

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