The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters touted the opening of their new home, Es Con Field Hokkaido, as the dawning of a new generation.

Tsuyoshi Shinjo, Nippon Ham's charismatic manager, said he was creating a new era during practice on Wednesday, the day before the Fighters opened the NPB season. The governor of Hokkaido expressed a similar sentiment during his remarks at an opening ceremony on Thursday afternoon before the crowd's attention was stolen by the sound of jets overhead as the Air Self-Defense Force demonstration team, Blue Impulse, performed. Before the Fighters ran onto the field to start the 2023 NPB season, outfielder Go Matsumoto delivered the pregame speech from the team's new, plush clubhouse.

“I’m excited to play at the best stadium in the world,” he said.