Pro baseball spring training camps provide economic benefit of more than 8.6 billion yen to Okinawa in 2011

Pro baseball spring training camps provide economic benefit of more than 8.6 billion yen to Okinawa in 2011

professional baseball spring training camp on February 2011


August 10, 2011 Ryukyu Shimpo

According to figures announced by Ryugin Research Institute Ltd. on August 9, professional baseball spring training camps brought 8.64 billion yen, a new record high, to Okinawa in 2011.
The fact that the Yomiuri Giants conducted their spring training camp in Okinawa for the first time and the popularity of Yuki Saito, who joined the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, contributed to substantially increasing the number of spectators.
Although the figure fell below the 10.1 billion yen forecast by the Institute, it was still 3.154 billion yen more than the previous year, exceeding the previous high (6.2 billion yen in 2008) by about 2.4 billion yen.

The chart shows the economic impact generated by professional baseball spring training camps and the changing number of spectators.


Ten professional baseball teams including the Yomiuri Giants conducted training camps within the prefecture in February. Six of them also had their second teams conduct training camps in Okinawa.
A total of 253000 spectators watched games, including pre-season matches, during the period of the spring training camps, an increase of 82000 over the previous year.

Among the visitors to Okinawa during the period of the spring training camps, the number of people actually directly involved in professional baseball is estimated to have been about 1100, with about 2700 media people and about 43000 tourists.
The increasing numbers of news people including not only sports reporters but also entertainment reporters visiting the prefecture can be attributed to the nationwide popularity of Yuki Saito. The number is up by about 600 over the previous year.

The total direct expenditure on the spring training camps, including the cost of accommodation and training facilities amounted to 5.45 billion yen, up 2.024 billion yen on the previous year.
Besides the increase in expenditure on accommodation and souvenir purchases due to the larger number of spectators, expenditure on the use and upkeep of training facilities substantially increased because the Yomiuri Giants conducted their spring training camp in Okinawa.

In terms of the economic benefit for local industries, profits for the hotel industry amounted to 1.315 billion yen, those for the manufacturing industry were 1.178 billion yen, and the commerce industry 993 million yen.

Among the ten professional baseball teams, the Yomiuri Giants brought Okinawa the greatest benefit at 2.234 billion yen, followed by the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters at 1.615 billion yen.
The Institute concluded that, “The prefecture needs to create new business opportunities to take advantage of the training camps held by professional baseball teams.”

(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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