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Velodrome and Korakuen Stadium in 1974.
|Location||3, Koraku 1-chome, Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan|
|Owner||Korakuen Stadium Corporation (now Tokyo Dome Corporation)|
|Main contractors||Tobishima Corporation|
|Intercity Baseball Tournament (1938–1987)|
Korakuen Stadium (後楽園球場? Kōrakuen Kyūjō) was a stadium in Tokyo, Japan. Completed in 1937, it was primarily used for baseball and was home to the Yomiuri Giants until 1988 when they moved next door, to the Tokyo Dome, which sits on the site of the Velodrome. The ballpark had a capacity of 50,000 people. In 1942 Korakuen Stadium played host to a memorable 28 inning, 311 pitch, complete game effort by Michio Nishizawa. It also hosted the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame. On August 16, 1976, it hosted the first NFL game played outside of North America when the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the San Diego Chargers 20-10 in a preseason game before 38,000. It also hosted the Mirage Bowl.
The stadium was also used as a concert venue for superstars. This included the all-day "For Freedom" show, on April 4, 1978, which was the marathon farewell performance by Candies, a top Japanese girl group of the time.
On March 31, 1981, Pink Lady, another top Japanese girl group of the time, performed their farewell concert.
In June 1987, Madonna sold all of the 65,000 available tickets for 3 concerts (around 21,600 per show) on the Who's That Girl Tour in a few hours. The second night was shown on TV in Japan and was later released on VHS and LaserDisc.
Korakuen Stadium closed on November 8, 1987 and demolition proceeded soon after, which was completed in February 1988. The former site of the right-center field area is now occupied by a high-rise, the Tokyo Dome Hotel. The remainder of the former ballpark site is a plaza for the Tokyo Dome and the hotel.
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