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Baseball: Japan spring high school invitational to be held with 10,000-fan limit

Teams play in the national invitational high school baseball tournament at Koshien Stadium in Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan, on Aug 10, 2021. (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Up to 10,000 spectators will be admitted for games at this month's prestigious spring invitational high school baseball tournament, organizers announced Thursday.

    A year after it canceled the tournament at iconic Koshien Stadium outside Osaka for the first time, the Japan High School Baseball Federation will sanction the event in line with government policies.

    All tickets will be sold over the internet to prevent crowds forming at the ballpark ticket windows, and all seats will be reserved to ensure social distancing.

    The Alps stands down the first- and third-base lines, typically a jam-packed humming hive of supporters, cheerleaders and brass bands from each game's two competing schools, will be for exclusive use of up to 1,000 supporters each.

    Due to the cost of infection-control measures and the decrease in visitors, prices will be increased by 1,400 yen ($13) for infield and central seating areas, while the outfield seats, normally free for the tournament at the 47,000-seat ballpark, will go for 700 yen each.

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