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Posted on October 6th, 2015

The Pléiades 1 Stadium of the Month – Sapporo Dome

From the island nation of the United Kingdom, we travel to the Far East island nation of Japan for this Pléiades 1 Stadium of the Month and a look at one of world’s most unique buildings, the Sapporo Dome.

Name & Its Origin: The Sapporo Community Dome, which is locally nicknamed Tsudome, appears to derive its name from the city it is located in. The name of the Japanese town of Sapporo is derived from the Ainu language, as either “Sari-Poro-Pet,” a river lined with large reed bed; or from “Sat-Poro-Pet,” a large dried up river.

Location: The Sapporo Dome is about 3 miles east of the Toyohira River and then 14 miles southeast of the Sea of Japan. The town of Sapporo is a large metropolis with some 2 million residents and the dome is located towards its south-eastern edge at about 250 feet above sea level.

Stadium Capacity/Size, Architect & Build Date: Tsudome was designed by Hiroshi Hara and opened March 2001 with an initial seating capacity of 41,484 for football (soccer) and baseball games. In 2009, it was expanded to hold 67,400 for football and 55,900 for baseball games.

Type of Field Surface: What makes the Sapporo Dome a modern architectural wonder are the two playing fields it features. For baseball, there is an artificial turf surface, but then for football there is a natural grass field which can be “stored” outside while not in use to keep the grass alive.

Key Sports Teams: The local home teams that play in the Sapporo Dome are the Consadole Sapporo (a professional football club) and then the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters (a professional baseball team). The stadium has also hosted FIFA World Cup games in 2002 and was expanded in 2009 to host pre-season international NFL games.

A 50-cm color image of the Sapporo Dome in Sapporo, Japan collected on October 10, 2013 by Pléiades 1A. To see this stadium in SPOT 6/7 1.5-meter resolution check out this month’s feature on SPOTMaps. Image photo enhanced by Apollo Mapping. © CNES 2015, Distribution Airbus Defense and Space / Spot Image S.A., France, all rights reserved.

Most Popular Yearly Event: Tsudome was built to host games for the 2002 FIFA World Cup and appears to host mainly professional baseball and football as well as other sporting events. Every now and then, it hosts rock concerts, such as Exile on December 19, 2015. Besides the popular opening days for baseball and football and then playoff games, the Annual Winter Wonders festival which is held partly at Sapporo Dome draws more than 2 million visitors.

Fun Factoids: (1) By far, the feature that sets this stadium apart is its mobile soccer field. To move the 8,300-ton football pitch into place, air is blown under the field to lower its weight by 10%. Then this same air system pushes the field forward at a rate of 4-meters per minute. When it enters the dome, it is rotated 90 degrees to face the main grandstand. The whole process takes about 5 hours to complete! (2) When constructed, the dome cost some 53,700 million Yen or about $450 million. (3) While this stadium holds more than 55,000 fans, there are only 1,429 parking spots on site. (4) The dome is 68 meters at its highest point or some 223 feet off the ground.

The Pléiades 1 High-Resolution Satellite Constellation

The Pléiades 1 constellation (or at least part of it!) has been in orbit since December 2011 and if you have not had a chance to check out any sample imagery, take a few moments and have a look at the gallery on our website. If you work with high resolution imagery, you should consider Pléiades 1 for your next geospatial project.

A variety of Pléiades 1 products are available from both a growing archive and as a new collection, including 50-centimeter (cm) pansharpened imagery and 50-cm panchromatic – 2-meter (m) 4-band multispectral bundles. We are happy to discuss the technical specifications, pricing and tasking options available with this satellite constellation.

Working with Pléiades 1 since the launch of the first twin satellite, P1A, we have noticed that:

  • Airbus Defense and Space is able to deliver on their tasking feasibilities.

The Apollo Mapping sales team can answer any questions you might have about the high resolution satellite constellation, Pléiades 1. We can be reached anytime at (303) 993-3863 or

More sample images and technical information about Pléiades 1A and 1B can be found on our website here.

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