The International Olympic Committee approved on Friday the use of venues in Yokohama and Fukushima for baseball and softball at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Yokohama Stadium south of Tokyo will serve as main stadium. At least one game is going to be played in Fukushima to show support to the people in the area, which was hit by a nuclear accident following an earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Baseball and Softball are returning to the Olympic program for the first time since 2008.
Press release World Baseball Softball Confederation:
PYEONGCHANG, Rep. of Korea — Fukushima’s Azuma Baseball Stadium has been added as an official venue for Olympic baseball and softball events at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
The International Olympic Committee approved the 30,000-seat venue at its executive board meetings today in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea.
The Fukushima proposal was put forward in a collaboration between hosts Tokyo 2020 and the world governing body of baseball and softball, WBSC. The region was devastated by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. Tokyo 2020 and WBSC will work together on a plan to stage Olympic baseball and softball matches featuring Japan’s National Teams in Fukushima.
“By hosting Olympic baseball and softball events, Fukushima will have a great platform to show the world the extent of its recovery in the 10 years since the disaster,” said Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori.
“WBSC congratulates Tokyo 2020 President Mori and IOC President Bach on this great step taken with Olympic baseball and softball as a vehicle to inspire hope and highlight the regeneration in Fukushima,” WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said. “It is a tremendous honour and a duty we take very seriously to be a part of something so meaningful — to serve the Olympic Movement and to use the power of sport to shape a better world. It is in this wonderful spirit that WBSC held the U-15 Baseball World Cup last year in Iwaki, Fukushima.”
Azuma Stadium has hosted games of Japan’s premier sports league, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), and will undergo renovation under local authorities.
Yokohama Stadium was previously confirmed as the main venue for baseball and softball events at the Olympic Games in 2020.
WBSC will continue its analysis on the tournament format and qualification methodology for the 2020 Olympic baseball and softball events