DeNA and Chunichi Address Hotel Problem and Troublesome Fan Behavior at Spring Camp | FRIDAY DIGITAL

DeNA and Chunichi Address Hotel Problem and Troublesome Fan Behavior at Spring Camp

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Dominating the spotlight are DeNA, where draft first pick Takateru Tokai, 21, son of former Yakult player, shines, and Chunichi, buzzing with the arrival of slugger Sho Nakata, 34. However, behind the fever, both teams are grappling with the hotel problem.

Chunichi’s manager, Tatsunami, shares a laugh with Okinawa Prefecture’s Governor Denny Tamaki. Despite the smiling manager, players are troubled by fan interactions.

DeNA’s players and staff are staying at a hotel right in front of the Ginowan stadium where they hold their camp.

“The hotel they’re staying at opened in 1992 and is showing signs of aging. Being right in front of the stadium, fans gather in the lobby to catch a glimpse of the players, and there have been incidents of fans booking rooms inside the hotel to wait in ambush.

The players are prepared to appeal directly to the team through the players’ association, demanding to stay at a Prince-affiliated hotel that recently opened nearby. However, this Prince hotel is primarily designed as a resort hotel and lacks large meeting rooms where the team could gather. Changing hotels seems difficult.” (Team official)

Chunichi is facing similar issues.

“Before COVID, the first team used to stay at a resort hotel in Onna village, about a 20-minute drive from the stadium. However, due to renovation work, they have moved to a newly built foreign-owned hotel in Chatan, within walking distance from the Kitatani Stadium.” (Same source)

While the travel time has been reduced and the hotel rank has improved, there seem to be no problems. However, a sports newspaper desk comments, “Same as DeNA. The trouble arises from being too close to the stadium.”

“Fans staying at nearby hotels wait outside the main entrance and back door until late at night, hoping to catch the Chunichi players. Dozens of fans are seen waiting for ‘player appearances and departures.’ Players who went to the convenience store in front of the hotel complained, ‘Fans surrounded me, persistently asking for autographs and photos. It’s getting nerve-wracking. We hope they’ll do something like deploying security guards.'”

Creating an environment where players can focus on training is also the responsibility of the team.

  • Photo Kyodo News

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