Dodgers Rumors: Opening Day 2025 Expected To Be In Japan

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The Los Angeles Dodgers further strengthened their international brand during the offseason with the signings of Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto to respective record-setting contracts.

While both players bring immense value to the roster from a talent perspective, the Guggenheim Dodgers ownership group is well-positioned to benefit from a financial standpoint as well.

Global interest in the Dodgers has skyrocketed and that’s being amplified with their participation in the Seoul Series for Opening Day 2024 as part of the MLB World Tour.

According to Dylan Hernández of the L.A. Times, the Dodgers are likely to be part of Opening Day 2025 in Japan:

They will open their season next week in South Korea, and team officials believe the Dodgers also will be chosen to start their 2025 campaign in Japan, according to people familiar with their thinking unauthorized to speak publicly.

If the Dodgers start the 2025 regular season in Japan, games would be played at the Tokyo Dome, but they also could face the Nippon-Ham Fighters in an exhibition contest, which would mark a homecoming for Ohtani:

The planned series is expected to be played at the Tokyo Dome, but the new home of Ohtani’s former team could host a couple of exhibition games in the preceding days, according to people with knowledge of the plans.

Guggenheim Baseball, the Dodgers and Ohtani came together in supporting the relief efforts after the Sea of Japan earthquake (7.6 magnitude) struck on January 1.

As it stands, the Dodgers and Padres are expected to draw droves of fans from Japan for their two-game Seoul Series at Gocheok Skydome. The ballpark just underwent renovations that included adding new turf.

If the MLB World Tour takes the Dodgers to Japan for the start of the 2025 season and it includes an exhibition game against the Fighters, it would not come in the stadium Ohtani played in while starring in Hokkaido.

Last year, the Fighters moved into a new stadium, Es Con Field Hokkaido, which is in Kitahiroshima. The Fighters old stadium was located in the Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido.

Es Con Field is considered a state-of-the-art stadium that features a retractable roof and 35,000 seats.

New Dodgers helmets inspired by Team Japan

The Dodgers’ batting helmets feature a slightly new design in that the white “LA” logo now has a blue border around it. Moreover, the outline is a layer that the logo sits upon.

Dodgers design director Ross Yoshida revealed that the new version of the logo is an embroidered patch inspired by the Samurai Japan helmets from the 2023 World Baseball Classic.

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