If you’re in Kitahiroshima for a Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters game in 2023, you may have a sense of déjà vu at Hokkaido Ballpark, their new home.
It looks suspiciously like Globe Life Field.
The new park will open in 2023 with a retractable roof design similar to Globe Life Field. It also comes with an interior design that is oddly similar and an entertainment district comparable to Texas Live!, the one adjacent to Globe Life Field.
Turns out, that’s by design.
The same design firm that handled Globe Life Field, HKS — based in Dallas — also designed this ballpark. They also designed it this was because, according to Metroplexing.com, the team’s administration liked Globe Life Field and wanted something similar. Hokkaido Ballpark will seat 35,000. Globe Life Field has a capacity of 40,300.
Construction began in 2020. The team, which are in the NPB's Pacific League, intends to keep the roof open the majority of the time and close it on cold days, as opposed to the Rangers, who close the roof on hot days.
There is already some trouble with the new park. The Mainichi, a Japanese daily newspaper, reported earlier this month that the new park’s foul territory doesn’t meet the league’s criteria, which is 60 feet from the home plate to the backstop, and from the base lines to the fences, stands or other obstacles in foul territory.
It’s unclear if that will delay opening of the park.
The Rangers are pursuing pitcher Kodai Senga, who plays in the NPB but for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.
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