Korakuen Stadium

Korakuen Stadium

Korakuen Stadium
Velodrome and Korakuen Stadium in 1974.
Location 3, Koraku 1-chome, Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan
Owner Korakuen Stadium Corporation (now Tokyo Dome Corporation)
Capacity 42,337
Opened 1937
Closed 1987
Demolished 1988
Architect Ryutaro Furuhashi
Main contractors Tobishima Corporation

Yomiuri Giants (NPB (Central League)) (1938–1987)
Nippon Ham Fighters (NPB (Pacific League)) (1964–1987)

Intercity Baseball Tournament (1938–1987)

Korakuen Stadium (後楽園球場 Kōrakuen Kyūjō) was a stadium in Tokyo, Japan. Completed in 1937, it was primarily used for baseball and was home to the Yomiuri Giants until 1988 when they moved next door, to the Tokyo Dome, which sits on the site of the Velodrome. The ballpark had a capacity of 50,000 people. In 1942 Korakuen Stadium played host to a memorable 28 inning, 311 pitch, complete game effort by Michio Nishizawa. It also hosted the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame. On August 16, 1976, it hosted the first NFL game played outside of North America when the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the San Diego Chargers 20-10 in a preseason game before 38,000. It also hosted the Mirage Bowl.

The stadium was also used as a concert venue for superstars. This included the all-day "For Freedom" show, on April 4, 1978, which was the marathon farewell performance by Candies, a top Japanese girl group of the time.

On March 31, 1981, Pink Lady, another top Japanese girl group of the time, performed their farewell concert.

In June 1987, Madonna sold all of the 65,000 available tickets for 3 concerts (around 21,600 per show) on the Who's That Girl Tour in a few hours. The second night was shown on TV in Japan and was later released on VHS and LaserDisc.

Michael Jackson opened the Bad World Tour—his first tour as a solo artist—with three sold-out concerts at the stadium, with total attendance of 135,000.

Korakuen Stadium closed on November 8, 1987 and demolition proceeded soon after, which was completed in February 1988. The former site of the right-center field area is now occupied by a high-rise, the Tokyo Dome Hotel. The remainder of the former ballpark site is a plaza for the Tokyo Dome and the hotel.