The grand opening of a multiple-purpose sports and recreation center (the Mini Egg) was unveiled on the 23rd day of the month after the ordeal of contract discharge and the great effort of Taichung City Government. This center conforms to the standard of International Olympic Committee can hold domestic and international games. Furthermore, this center is also available for concerts. Investment has also been made for housing food and beverages and banquet functions. Indeed, this center will be turned into a “Baseball Cultural Park” in connection with the peripheral industries. The baseball stadium is not only for sport but could be developed into a place for industry and life style. It will emerge as a new landmark of Taichung for pleasure and tourist travelling. The efforts of all are invited to make the “hatching of the Mini Egg” as success, said Mayor Lin.
“Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium” was unveiled on 23rd July. This is a complex housing an intercontinental baseball field, a multiple-purpose sport center, parking lot and a variety of peripheral facilities. Present in the opening ceremony were Mayor Lin, Deputy Speaker of Legislative Yuan Tsai Chi-Chang, Legislators Chang-Liao Wan-Chien, Huang Kuo-Shu, Ho Hsin-Chun, Director Wang Ching-Tang of Taichung City Bureau of Sports, Director Chuo Kuan-Ting of Taichung City Information Office, Director Wang Yi-Chuan of Taichung City Bureau of Transportations, Taichung City Councilors Ho Ming-Cheng, Tseng Chao-Jong, Yan Lee-Min, Shen You-Lien, Chairman Liao Feng-Min of Taichung City Baseball Education Foundation, President Lin Hwa-Wei of National Taiwan University of Physical Education and Sports, President Tsai Wu-Chang of Chiayi Agricultural and Forestry Baseball Section OB Club, President TANGSHENCHANGZI of Noboribetsu Tourist Association of Japan, Chairman Luo Feng-Yun of Markwell Development Co., Ltd., Chairman Ho Feng-Chan of Tempus Hotel Group, Director Wu Chun-Shan of Best Giving Construction, Chairman Liao Chin-Chueh of Lilo Park Co., Ltd., Chief Advisor Feng Chi-Tai of the Office of the Chairman of CTBC Bank, Brothers Baseball Team Leader Liu Chi-Wei and player Lin Wei-Chu, and the representatives of Legislators Hung Chi-Yung and Lu Hsiu-Yan.
Mayor Lin and others pulled the ball to kick off the opening ceremony. Deputy Speaker Tsai and Mayor Lin jointly offered baseball bats and tools for the school pupils and accredited Robot “Pepper” as the Curator of the Baseball Museum and granted tenure of 2 years. Mayor Lin and others toured the park and finally arrived at the entrance of the Mini Egg to receive the torch of Summer Universidad Taipei 2017 relay to Taichung as the last stop.
It was just like a “successful come-back in the bottom ninth-inning”, said Mayor Lin. When I assumed office as the Mayor of Taichung, the multiple-purpose sport center was at the juncture of significant delay in the progress of work and financial problem. The process of “hatching the Mini Egg” was almost abortive. Yet, a new management team moved in and successfully hatched the Mini Egg into being with the effort of all in Taichung City Government. With the installation of peripheral facilities, this place is indeed a creative park for intercontinental baseball culture.
This center is not only a place for sport games but also a place ideal for concerts of different kinds and international big conferences. The multiple-purpose development will include the linkage of the Intercontinental Baseball Stadium, the Baseball Museum and the holiday bazaar. This place is also suitable for holding outdoor wedding and banquet, said Mayor Lin. By then, baseball is no longer just a kind of sport, but could be developed into an industry and a mode of life, which could be sublimed to artistic and cultural creation, pleasure, and entertainment for all people. In the future, people can come to this place from the morning to the night for “home run and good luck！”. I would like to express my gratitude to those who have made efforts in “hatching the Mini Egg”.
The Baseball Museum also opened at the same time. The story of Taichung Gold Dragon in winning Williamsburg World Youth League Championship in USA in 1969 could be told here, said Mayor Lin. This demonstrated the vivid history of baseball in Taichung. In the 2020 Tokyo Olympic, baseball is an item included in the Olympic Game. In addition, this stadium is also the venue for the 2019 East Asia Youth Olympic Game. Taichung will further its effort. We ask all of you to introduce this place to your friends for sharing the charm of this cultural creative park.
The construction of Mini Egg and the baseball cultural park has passed through a variety of ordeal yet being overcome, said Chairman Liao of Taichung City Baseball Education Foundation. This is just a matter of coincidence that he assumed office as the Chairman of this foundation at the encouragement of Major Lin, said Chairman Liao. This Mini Egg has come into being finally. The work in phase II will focus on attracting investment from other industries. It really is a pleasure to open this landmark to the public.
Major construction project in his regions allowed the people of Taichung to enjoy more benefits and convenience, said Deputy Speaker Tsai of Legislative Yuan. Indeed, Mayor Lin deserved the ovation. It was under the coordination and effort of Mayor Lin and the support of public officials at the regional and central level and the enterprises that made Taichung gradually developed. The official grand opening of the “Paradise for baseball players” entailed the sustained advocacy and perfect development of baseball, said Deputy Speaker Tsai.
According to the Taichung City Bureau of Sport, the city government has entered into a ROT Agreement with Markwell Group back in 2009. Further to the maintenance of the whole intercontinental baseball stadium, related sport grounds and facilities conforming to the standard of International Olympic Committee and a multiple-storey parking lot should also be built in the immediate area. The surplus space will be reserved for food and beverages, hotel and shopping facilities. However, the project has been delayed and the date of completion has been postponed to June 10 2015 by the previous Taichung Government. But Markwell Group was mired in financial problem later that the work can never be completed.
After the new government has assumed office, they spared no effort to make this project completed. Taiwan Life Insurance, a subsidiary of CTBC Holding Group, took over Markwell Asset Management, the original contracting party, to reactivate the project so that construction of the stadium could be continued. The “Mini Egg” was finally completed last year with the issuance of occupancy permit. Business firms have also been successfully invited to the site in accordance with the “Act for Promotion of Private Participation in Infrastructure Projects” with the management team of Lilo Park Co., Ltd. acting as the management administrator. In addition, the multiple-storey parking lot was completed with occupancy license issued at the end of March. This allows the Brothers to play more than half of the games at the intercontinental baseball stadium as the home base since last year.
According to Taichung City Bureau of Sport, the base of the multiple-purpose sport center occupied an area of 89,000 m2 and 29 meter high. The first floor is designed as the space for a variety of functions for food and beverages and exhibition. The second floor is designed for housing the machine room. The third floor is designed as an indoor stadium with 3,000 seats, which could be used for hosting a variety of games and tournaments, concerts and other variety shows. Furthermore, this venue is also available for big conference and exhibition of fine objects. Indeed, the venue could be used for a variety of purposes other than sport. This is a prospective place for a diversity of functions.
In addition, Taichung City Government also launched the “ Sport Corridor Scheme”. The site reserved for a cultural center right opposite to the intercontinental baseball stadium will be converted into a baseball field for warm-up game and the training place for the city team. Part of the space in the intercontinental baseball stadium will be spared for setting up a Baseball Museum that shows the treasure of baseball in a static form. People can share this splendid experience of baseball at this place.
The Brothers held more than half of their games at the intercontinental baseball stadium. For this reason, Taichung City Government commissioned a private firm to build a multiple-storey parking lot simultaneously. This parking lot could accommodate 1,216 vehicles and 2,735 motorcycles and could effectively help to mitigate the problem of parking in the game seasons. Furthermore, this place will also be the space for pleasure and recreation.