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According to The Daily Engineering & Construction News, Mie Football Association (Mie FA) has submitted its report to the Governor of the Prefecture with the Port of Yokkaichi (pictured above) and Komono’s onsen-rich Aqua Ignis area (pictured below) recommended as the prime candidate sites for the proposed football stadium. Lack of stadium has been seen as a major hurdle for a club from the region to enter the professional J-League.
Currently, there are 3 clubs in Mie Prefecture racing against each other to enter the J-League with Veertien Mie, playing in the Japan Football League (JFL=4th Division), Suzuka Unlimited FC and FC Ise-Shima in the Tokai Regional League (5th Division), respectively. None of these clubs would be promoted into the J-League, however, as there is no stadium in Mie that meets the J-League membership requirement in relation to capacity and facilities.
In its report, the Mie FA stated that the organisation looked into potential sites that have the land size of approximately three hectares, are easily accessible by car or train, are located in an area where floodlight and noise generated by the venue on matchdays will not affect the surrounding community, and are in an area where attracting many people seems a real possibility. After thorough research and investigation, the FA selected the Fuso Ryokuchi Park in Yokkaichi and the Aqua Ignis area in Komono.
The Mie FA and the Prefecture have come up with an estimate figure of approximately £53m for the new stadium with a capacity of 15,000, a minimum capacity requirement for J-League Division 1 (J1), and the stakeholders are fully aware public funds alone would not be sufficient for the project, hence private financing from businesses is required.
The stakeholders are also looking at developing the site as a commercial complex to cater for the lack of stadium use with the number of J-League home matches and JFA (Japan Football Association) cup matches at the highest level totaling to be around only 20 a year.
Images: Mie Football Association