NPB Climax Series games get underway

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Yomiuri Shimbun More than 21,000 spectators watch the Central League climax Series opener at Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, on Saturday.

The first stage of the Climax Series for both the Central and Pacific Leagues of Nippon Professional Baseball started Saturday, with fans filling about half of the stadiums in each league’s games.

In the Central League, the Hanshin Tigers and the Yomiuri Giants played at Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, attracting 21,478 fans. Koshien Stadium has a capacity of 47,500.

This was the first time in two years that the Central League held a Climax Series game, as last year’s series was canceled due to the pandemic. The upper limit of 10,000 participants for large-scale events has been lifted, and this month the limit was raised to 50% of capacity.

Tatsunori Hara, manager of the Giants, said: “Fans are the key to professional baseball. I think the world is moving in a very good direction.”

The Pacific League’s Climax Series game was attended by 14,904 people at ZOZO Marine Stadium in Chiba, which has a capacity of about 30,000.