Tokyo Dome Prepares for 2013 MLB Opening Series
Plans are well underway on the field and ballpark improvements at the Tokyo dome for the 2013 MLB Opening Series. Teams arrive tomorrow, practice saturday then back to back double headers before the opening games on weds and thursday between the A’s and Mariners . Reconstruction of bullpens, homeplates, mounds, base pits, turf repairs, etc… took place over a 38hour time frame due to the event constraints around the opening series…The guys worked in shifts from the crew but there were a few Yomuri warriors along with the grounds supervisors that worked straight through along with Chad-son an Murray-son. The dome is a slightly pressurized facility that helps support the roof membrane that covers the stadium. Built in 1988 on the old Velodrome site, you can still walk in the outfield and see the track railings. Every time you leave the park your ears pop from the pressure in the building.
This is our 5th time working in the “egg”. The staff has always been great and they recently made a few changes. The head groundskeeper Hoshimoto an his trusty assistant Suzuki retired last year after working 50+ years with yomuri giants and the Tokyo dome . They look like they are both 40! A true inspiration to sportsturf managers around the world. 50 years with one company! Hoshimoto was telling me about the earthquakes and how the dome was swaying last night. What’s cool is they promoted Tamba and Kohike from within showing consistency and loyalty to the young guys on the crew. The Dome is showing its age but at the sametime versatility to be able to host major events throughout the year similar to the rogers centre in toronto.
Going to be a fun event…i really like not having that big tarp to mess with!