• Kyodo

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A Hanshin Tigers Central League pennant win would help boost the economy of western Japan, centering on Osaka, by 147.9 billion yen, according to a university professor.

Katsuhiro Miyamoto, head of Osaka Prefecture University’s College of Economics, revised his earlier projection of 73.4 billion yen, attributing the expected expansion to a surge in the number of Tigers fans spurred by the recent boom surrounding the pro baseball team.

The latest projection covers the economies of Osaka, Kyoto, Shiga, Hyogo, Nara, Wakayama and Fukui prefectures.

In his previous estimate, Miyamoto put the number of adult Tigers fans at 1.46 million. He believes the number has since surged to about 11 million, with more fans jumping on the bandwagon as the team appears on course to win the Central League pennant for the first time in 18 years.

Miyamoto said Amagasaki Shinkin Bank’s special Hanshin Tigers time deposits, whose interest rate will jump 7.7-fold with a Tigers victory, will enable small and midsize companies to make capital investments of about 21.2 billion yen, as the bank lends funds mainly to such companies.

Consumption of products such as beer as fans watch Tigers games at home will total 16.5 billion yen, and sales of Tigers goods at stores other than the Hanshin Department Store chain will come to an estimated 4.5 billion yen, he said.