Sports in Nagoya
In Nagoya you will find Japanese sports fans just as entertaining as the action on the field. Ask at Tourist Information about upcoming events and where to buy tickets.
The Chunichi Dragons play home games at the 40,500-capacity Nagoya Dome. Two leagues of six teams make up Japanese professional baseball, and the Dragons have won the Central League pennant eight times and the Japan Series twice. In recent years the team is in a groove, reaching the Japan Series in 2004 and 2006 before finally winning it—for the first time since 1954—in 2007. They came close again in 2010 and 2011, losing both Japan Series in game seven. Fans here are a bit different—they sing well-drilled songs for each of the batters on their own team, but sit in stony silence when the opposing team is at bat. The season runs from late March to October, and tickets for the upper-tier "Panorama" seats start at ¥1,500, rising to ¥5,800 for those behind home plate. Other than when a big team such as the Yomiuri Giants or Hanshin Tigers is in town, tickets are usually available at the stadium.
The remarkably loyal fans who turn up in the thousands to cheer on Nagoya Grampus finally had something to cheer about in 2010, as the team romped to a first J-League Division One title. Until then, Grampus had a reputation as perennial underachievers, always seeming to hang around mid-table in J-League 1—despite having had star players such as Gary Lineker and Dragan Stojkovic (now the head coach)—and managing a couple of Emperor's Cup wins in the 1990s. From March to December they play half their home games in Nagoya at the 20,000-seat Mizuho Stadium, where the running track dissipates the atmosphere, and half at the futuristic 45,000-seat Toyota Stadium, which also hosts some national team games. Tickets on game day range in price from ¥2,700 to ¥7,000
Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament. In mid-July, Nagoya's Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium hosts one of the three sumo tournaments held outside Tokyo each year. The arena holds 8,000 people, and you are almost guaranteed a good view of the dohyo (ring). Tickets, which start at ¥3,300, are often available on the day of the tournament, but it's better to book ahead. The venue is a two-minute walk from Exit 7 of the Shiyakusho subway station. Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, 1–1 Ninomaru, Naka-ku, Nagoya, Aichi-ken, 460-0032. 052/962–9300. www.sumo.or.jp.
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