Tokyo Broadcasting System Holdings Inc. and DeNA Co. have entered the final stage of negotiations to conclude the sale of the Yokohama BayStars professional baseball team, Toshichika Ishihara, president of TBS Holdings, said Nov. 2.
TBS was expected to make an official announcement on DeNA's purchase of the Central League club as early as Nov. 4.
Ishihara said TBS has not been negotiating with any companies other than the Tokyo-based mobile phone game operator over the sale of the Yokohama team.
"I feel (DeNA) has a passion for the baseball world, feels a connection to Yokohama and has a strong will to own the team over a long period," he said.
To boost name recognition from owning the professional baseball team, DeNA had intended to include "Mobage," its popular cellphone game service, in the new team name. However, strong opposition from some within the baseball community caused DeNA to reconsider the plan. Until now, only city names or parent company names have been used for NPB teams, not specific product or service names.
Sources said DeNA is considering taking over the team and retaining the name "Yokohama BayStars," and possibly changing the name to include "Mobage" in the future, once DeNA has officially changed its company name to include Mobage as well.
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