Kyoto Nishikyogoku Baseball Stadium (京都市西京極総合運動公園野球場)

Kyoto Nishikyogoku Baseball Stadium refers to the baseball park in Kyoto Nishikyogoku general athletic park in Ukyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture. The legal name in the ordinance is like the above-mentioned, but in general it is commonly called Nishikyogoku yakyujo (baseball park). By the introduction of naming rights, it is commonly called Wakasa Stadium Kyoto (see the details in meimeiken (naming rights)). Kyoto City owns the facility and Kyoto City Amateur Sports Association manages it as the designated manager.

As a memorial to the marriage of Emperor Showa, it was developed as the first athletic park in Kyoto City in 1930 and the ballpark was completed in August 1932. Since then, the amateur baseball official games such as high-school baseball, university baseball, baseball tournament between non-professional teams sponsored by corporations and so on have been held and many of the professional baseball official games have also been held. As the distance to the right field and left field was 100 meters and considered to be wide in those days and thus later the lucky zone was installed for the distance of 92 meters. In March 1965, the utilities for a nighter (night game) were additionally installed. For the holding of Kyoto Kokutai (National Sports Festival) in 1988, it was renovated in 1987 and the lucky zone was removed.

Once, Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes and Orix Buffaloes (currently, both of them are Orix Buffaloes) positioned Nishikyogoku Baseball Park as a sub home ground and held some official games during the year. Additionally in 1955, Daiei Unions which had the home ground in Tokyo Prefecture also held official games.

Likewise, the Hanshin Tigers which had the home ground in the Keihanshin area also held official games, because the home ground Hanshin Koshien Stadium could not be used during the National High School Baseball Championships in August. After 1988, Skymark Stadium (Green Stadium Kobe in those days) or Hankyu Nishinomiya Stadium (now dismantled) came to be used and furthermore in 1997 the Osaka Dome (currently, Kyocera Dome Osaka) was completed and the official games in Nishikyogoku were held once a year between April and June. However, for 11 years until 2005, except in 1999 when official games were not planned in Nishikyogoku, and during the four seasons such as 1998 and between 2002 and 2004 when the official games of Hanshin were cancelled because of rain, the consecutive six defeats continued over these cancellations and thus the sports newspaper even reported, 'Nishikyogoku is Kimon (the northeastern "unlucky" direction, person or thing to be avoided) for Hanshin' (because Nishikyogoku was located in the north-east direction from Hanshin Koshien Stadium). In the following year, 2006, the official games were not held by Hanshin and in and after 2007 the second strings game and the exhibition game, let alone the first strings game, were not held. Also the concert events, and so on, were not held there.

And in former times, the Yomiuri Giants (Kyojin) held exhibition games there though it was rare.

In the baseball tournament between non-professional teams sponsored by corporations, from late April to early May every year, the JABA Kyoto Tournament was held.

As mentioned above, in and after the 2006 professional official games were not held, and as the bottlenecks, and the stand is small, the capacity is only 20,000 people, and moreover the facilities are aging and have many flaws. Also, from long ago, the fence advertisements have been removed, but the number of ads has decreased year by year and the ads remaining on the score board have disappeared, including the large-lot infrastructures centering on Kansai region, such as Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc., Nippon Telegraph and Telephone West Corporation (NTT West) and so on. And at present, the extension of outfield fences is not planned.

Main episode
In October 1967, Orix Buffaloes (current Orix), which held about 10 official games in a year as a sub-franchise for the Hankyu Railway lines in those days, had a game with Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters which was called on account of darkness and lost, but since 1936 when it was established as 'Osaka Hankyu Baseball Club,' it won the long-cherished victory in a league match for the first time in 32 years in this ballpark.

Summary of the facilities
In field: Clay paved; out field: Natural grass
The distance to the right field and left field: 100 meters; the distance to the center field: 117 meters.
The lighting facilities for night games: 6 facilities
Score board: Magnetic inversion method
Capacity: 20,000 people (in field: 13,300 seats, out field: 6,700 grass seats)

Naming rights
In November 21, 2008, Kyoto City announced the introduction of naming rights for the three facilities (athletic stadium, ballpark, and gymnasium) in The Nishikyogoku Comprehensive Sports Park and as for the ballpark; it solicited for the buyer, the right from January 8 to 30, 2009 under the condition that the amount of yearly contract should be more than 25 million yen, the term of contract should be more than five years, the name of the facility should include the word 'Kyoto' or 'Nishikyogoku,' and so on.

As a result, the only company that applied was WAKASA SEIKATSU Co., Ltd. whose head office is located in Kyoto City and which is producing and selling health foods, it offered the same conditions, that the amount of yearly contract is 25 million and the term is five years and proposed the name 'WAKASA STADIUM KYOTO.'
After the approval by the judging committee, Kyoto City and WAKASA SEIKATSU Co., Ltd. agreed in principle and signed a contract on February 27. And thus Nishikyogoku Baseball Park came to be called Wakasa Stadium Kyoto from April 1, 2009. Because of the economic downturn from the previous autumn, the corporate sector's performance declined in succession and some suspected the application, but the city side said as follows.
In a very tough economical situation, we appreciate the understanding for promoting sports.'
We are happy to have the buyer.'

Approximately five minutes walk from Nishikyogoku Station, the Hankyu Kyoto Main Line. When a professional baseball game was held at Nishikyogoku Baseball Park or a game of Kyoto Sanga F.C. in Japan Professional Football League was held at the Kyoto Nishikyogoku Athletic Stadium, the ticket barriers near Umeda are temporarily opened and thus the required time on foot is about two to three minutes.

Approximately five minutes walk from 'Nishikyogoku Undokoen-mae' Bus stop in 'No. 73 Rakusai Bus Terminal via Gojo-dori Street' route of Kyoto Municipal Transportation Bureau from JR Kyoto Station.

[Original Japanese]