outbrain
Close  

Baseball is back in Japan, and so are fans in the stadiums

/ 02:16 PM July 11, 2020
Japan baseball

Fans wearing face masks cheer as SoftBank Hawks’ Nobuhiro Matsuda, center, celebrates after hitting a solo home run against Rakuten Golden Eagles in the second inning of a regular season baseball game in Fukuoka, southwestern Japan, Friday, July 10, 2020. (Kyodo News via AP)

TOKYO — Japan’s professional baseball league opened the delayed season three weeks ago. Now fans are back, too.

After playing in empty stadiums to get started, Japan began allowing up to 5,000 fans into the games on Friday, or 50% of the stadium capacity — whichever is smaller. Officials hope to allow stadiums to be filled to 50% capacity beginning on Aug. 1.

ADVERTISEMENT

Japan’s soccer J-League is also allowing fans to return, beginning on Friday, under the same guidelines.

“I think starting with 5,000 spectators is a good idea,” said Hidetoshi Yuasa, who attended Friday’s game between the the Lotte Marines and the Seibu Lions played on the outskirts of Tokyo in suburban Chiba prefecture.

FEATURED STORIES

“If the situation gets worse because of this, then we have no choice but to go back as before. I think it’s a good idea to try it like this,” he added.

Japan has been largely successful controlling COVID-19 with about 1,000 deaths attributed to the coronavirus pandemic. The United States, with a population about 2 1/2 times larger, has recorded more than 130,000 deaths.

However, Tokyo has reported more than 200 new cases in each of the last several days. That is the highest number in the Japanese capital since April.

Fans were required to use hand disinfectant and have their temperatures taken when they entered the stadium. Shops were open and food and drinks were for sale, but alcohol was not allowed.

Restrictions were also put on the amount of cheering permitted, a staple at games in Japan.

“It’s a bit sad that we can’t cheer as we usually do,” Marines’ fan Mai Kojima said. “But I’m sure that will get back to normal. I guess we’ll just have to be patient for now.”

ADVERTISEMENT

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

Read Next
EDITORS' PICK
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Baseball, coronavorus pandemic, COVID-19, Japan, Sports
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.