Japan’s famed Koshien Stadium switching to LEDs

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Workers remove lighting fixtures in preparation for a switch to LEDs at Hanshin Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, on Dec. 21.

NISHINOMIYA, Hyogo — Hanshin Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, will be illuminated by light-emitting diodes with high energy-saving performance from next spring, replacing old lighting fixtures known for their “cocktail light” luminous quality at night games.

The work to replace the old lights began on Dec. 21. With LEDs, the annual carbon dioxide emissions from the stadium lighting are expected to be reduced by 60%, sources said.

On Dec. 21, workers removed lighting equipment piece by piece from the 40-meter-high towers on the so-called Alps Stand grandstand areas and outfield sides.

Panasonic Corp., which installed the new lighting fixtures, developed a custom-made LED floodlight that enables new effects while reproducing the traditional white and orange hue.

A dimming system used for stage lighting will also be installed, and work is scheduled to be completed by early March.

Once set up, the system will smoothly turn on and off the lights as well as depict text and patterns on the ground, allowing coordination with the main screen and sound system.

The stadium turns 100 in 2024, and its operator is promoting the creation of an eco-friendly ballpark by also installing solar panels on the roofing that covers part of the infield seats and using rainwater to water the grounds.