A Return to Chiba Marine Stadium

Last year, I went to Chiba Marine Stadium for the first time, but due to the nature of that trip I didn't really spend much time getting to know the stadium. Actually, I feel like that's been the case at most of the stadiums I've visited, because even when I have had time to wander around and take lots of photos, I didn't check out the amenities available throughout the stadium.

The same friend I went with last time invited me back for another game last weekend, and while I was again involved in a social situation (ain't nothin' wrong wit' dat!) she was a great host and I had some "free time" to myself for a little exploration.
It's worth reading my previous post, but I'll add that this time we took the bus from Kaihin-Makuhari Station to the ballpark. It is almost door-to-door though the fare is about 160 yen ($1.60) each way. With two little kids and two adults, the bus made all the difference in the world.
 Again, my previous post explained that food options inside the stadium aren't exactly worth writing home about. Here are a few of the awesome food trucks available outside the gates. You can leave the stadium during the game if you get a stamp, or just pick up your food before the game and bring it inside. There are picnic tables outside the stadium where you can sit and enjoy your pre-game meal.
 I returned to the kebab shop and had the "Snack Kebab" with lots of chicken and sauce over shredded cabbage, two slices of tomato, and some potato chips. I also bought a "juicy" sausage on a stick - total cost $9. After the game, we went to a different food truck where I had some kind of fried pita thing which was delicious, and a skewer of beef. The beef plus fried pita ran me $10 I think. Overall, $20 for two filling, delicious meals at a ballpark is a good price! The three beers inside the stadium cost me more - $24 total.
 We caught a glimpse of the cheerleaders (called M ☆ Splash) and the girl cheerleading group named Mini ☆ Splash before the game. Notice how they're all looking right at me, or almost at me? The two little four-year-old boys and two babies with us were waving at the girls and they enjoyed the attention - and then one of the boys' pants fell down. We saw one Mini ☆ Splash boy, too, so it's not just for girls. But he was wearing a uniform that was just as pink as the girls. While researching a little bit for this paragraph, I just noticed that they make appearances at the games about once a month, as part of the Marines baseball and dance academies.
 Anyway, it's time to go inside the stadium. Here's the view from our seats. Not bad! The defending champion Golden Eagles were in town; they are suffering this year without Tanaka.
 A look toward the home plate seats. If you look closely you can see the "luxury" boxes below the scoreboards. They run about 62,000 yen per game (about $60/person for 10 people) and includes some snacks; all you can eat is $21-26, and all you can drink through the seventh inning is $18. If you have three beers you've saved money! There are two Field Terrace Suites which run about $100/person (less for children) for 24-60 guests, including food and drinks. I'm not sure if it's all you can eat and drink, though.
 There's the outfield. Real fans sit in the outfield and cheap seats; this is really obvious when you aren't, and most of the people in your section don't do the cheering.
 I tried a few panorama shots. Here's a couple to get you started.

 It was hot and clear, a beautiful day for a ballgame. But when you have four children with a combined age of about 10, things get fussy when there isn't any shade. The other adults took the kids into the concourse a couple times, but eventually we decided it was best to move to the shady upper deck. That move was my opportunity to explore some of the stadium. So here's a hot down the left field line.
 And the left-field stands.
 The view from behind the dugout.
 I don't know who signed this or why, but I saw it on the concourse.
 I managed to get into the good seats right behind home plate. From my other photos you can see that there were plenty of seats at the game, so I spent about an inning enjoying the game from about the sixth row.

 Behind-the-plate panorama.

 Above the first-base dugout. I received the details on where everyone else was, so I continued around the stadium.
 Down the right field line.
 Right field stands.
 The actual fan section for the Marines is in right field. The visiting team sits in left field. Most of the noise from the crowd came from these sections throughout the game.
 The outfield. All that shade looks great! And you can see that the visitors have to suffer in the sun more than the home team.
 Panorama from the right field foul pole.
 The view from the second level.
 Behind home plate from the upper deck.
Finally, the field from our shady seats near the top of the upper deck. The Marines aren't doing great this year but it was a fun place to catch a game and fairly convenient. If I time it properly, I only have to make one transfer to get to the closest station by train. Since this was mostly a social visit, I didn't plan any real course to check out things I missed before, but I think I'll be back again eventually! There are five Monday ballgame dates this year. I don't work on Mondays so it's easy to get to the games and the crowds are lighter. Not to mention that Monday games are usually in the evening when it isn't broiling hot outside, while Sunday games are usually during the day.

There are two kids rooms located on the second level around gates six and seven, though I'm not entirely sure what either of them provide. There's a ballpark stage in the same area as the museum I visited in my previous post outside of the stadium, and events seem to start about two hours before game time. Also outside the gates is the monument with the hand prints that you can see in my prior post.

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