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5,000 fan panels placed in empty Yokohama Stadium as Japan pro ball season set to start

Panels of fans' pictures are arranged in the stands at Yokohama Stadium in Yokohama's Naka Ward on June 18, 2020, the day before Nippon Professional Baseball season opening games, which will be held without fans due to the novel coronavirus. (Mainichi/Takumi Hosoya)

YOKOHAMA -- About 5,000 panels depicting baseball fans were arranged along infield seating at Yokohama Stadium, home field of the Yokohama DeNA Baystars, on June 18, the day before the team's opening game of the Nippon Professional Baseball season, which will be held without spectators for the first time in history.

A public officer with the Baystars said, "We want to show the fans' support for players during the game, which will be held without spectators. We also want fans to fight together with players at the venue." The Baystars will play the Hiroshima Carp in the opening series.

On June 18, other stadiums in Japan that will hold opening games also took measures such as setting up support panels and message boards in a bid to add atmosphere to the venues lacking spectators. Some stadiums even have additional plans, such as showing compilations of fans cheering, which were recorded beforehand, on large screens during the games.

(Japanese original by Takumi Hosoya, Sports News Department)

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