Baseball in Taiwan: New stadium in Hsinchu opens to sold-out crowd

Baseball in Taiwan: New stadium in Hsinchu opens to sold-out crowd
Baseball is the No. 1 spectator sport in Taiwan, and the Chinese Taipei Baseball Team programme is currently ranked No. 2 in the WBSC Baseball World Rankings.

HSINCHU, Taiwan – The new 10,000-seat Hsinchu Baseball Stadium was opened to a sold-old crowd Friday night (22 July), as home team Weichuan Dragons fell to the Fubon Guardians, 1-0. Despite the loss for the home team, it was a memorable night for the fans and for baseball on the island.

Eight more games will be scheduled in the new venue during the remaining of the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) season.

“We will definitely come back for more next year,” said Dragons manager Chun-Chang Yeh.

One of the features of Hsinchu Baseball Stadium is the residence units under the bleachers as part of the stadium structure. Its small plot of land also creates a scenic skyline and backdrop, with buildings and skyscrapers just outside home run distance. Residents there can watch games on their own balconies, resembling the Wrigley Field scenario in Chicago.

In 2019, Hsinchu City announced the project to demolish the old stadium that stood in the same footprint and build a new stadium there. The US$ 40 million project includes the demolition of the existing structure (except for the under-bleacher units), a new 4-story stadium, and an underground parking facility. Features of the new stadium includes state-of-the-art video board, spacious grandstand, VIP suites, family suites, full LED illuminations and outdoor bullpen located in front of the bleacher seats, which is the first among all stadiums in Taiwan.

WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari tweeted: "Congratulations to CPBL, the Dragons and city of Hsinchu on this beautiful new facility. New stadium, new team helps bring more fans, players and exposure to the game. And it will help keep baseball the number one sport in Taiwan."

“It’s great that we have a new ballpark like this.” said Yeh. Chang, another legendary Dragons player in his playing days, invited fans to enjoy the atmosphere of the new stadium, “Come and see us play here, see if you can catch the first home run ball.”

The completion of the new stadium marks the first new venue since Rakuten Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium debuted in 2009. It is also the first new stadium being built after WBSC awarded “World Baseball City” at the site of Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium in 2013.