Yokota AB celebrates grand-opening of $10.1 million ballpark
By LEON COOK | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 12, 2016
Baseball players and fans at Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo have something to cheer about: a new ballpark.
Yokota Field, a 27-month, Japanese government-funded project that cost more than $10 million, opened Friday with a grand-opening celebration on the base’s east side. The stadium was built by Japan’s North Kanto Design Bureau with support from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the 374th Civil Engineer Squadron.
The ballpark has a grandstand with space for several hundred fans — including handicapped seating directly behind home plate — lush grass and a concession stand. Walls are padded so fielders can make big plays with less chance of injury.
“The Japanese built this field for us to make up for one they built the [Japan Air Self-Defense Force] headquarters on,” said Col. Kenneth Moss, 374th Airlift Wing commander.
The grand-opening celebration included a softball game between the Chiefs, a team composed of chief master sergeants, and the Eagles, which was made up of colonels.
“This is a place for our family to hang out,” Moss said. “If you put on a uniform, you’re part of our family, whether you’re in the Army, Air Force, Navy or Marines. We want to hang out with you and play some ball.”
Yokota Field, a Japanese government-funded project that cost more than $10 million, opened Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, with a grand-opening celebration at Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo. The stadium was built by Japan's North Kanto Design Bureau with support from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the 374th Civil Engineer Squadron.
ALLEN ONSTOTT/STARS AND STRIPES