The Kanto Football League Division 1 side Tochigi City FC has revealed new designs for its new football stadium proposed to be built within the city’s Iwafune Athletic Park.

The club, which plays in Japan’s fifth division, held a public consultation to explain that the distance between the natural grass pitch and the stand will be five metres, potentially making it a venue with the closest view of action in Japan.

According to the Shimotsuke Shimbun newspaper, the new stadium will be built near the existing ballpark in the western side of the Iwafune Athletic Park. The new stadium’s main stand will consist of seats with back upholstery and a building which will house club offices and training facilities as well as VIP rooms overlooking the pitch for a better match-day experience. A natural grass training pitch will also be developed close to the venue.

Other stands will be of grassy hillside and standing areas will be introduced to the side stands behind the goals. The initial capacity of 5,129 will ensure that the stadium requirement will be met should the club apply for promotion to the third division J3 League in future.

On non-match days, the stadium will open its doors to the general public and even public access to the pitch may be possible depending on the pitch condition.

Tochigi City FC president Takashi Okuri said: “With the stands so close to the pitch, our fans will be able to hear the players battling and breathing heavily and we hope it will excite our supporters and the children of the next generation alike. Ultimately, we are hoping that the whole region will be revitalised through their experiences at the new stadium.”

The club will cover the construction cost which will be in the region of JPY1bn (£7m/€8.15m) to JPY1.5bn, and they hope to have the stadium ready to open before the end of the 2020 season, the newspaper reported.

The City of Tochigi, meanwhile, is considering lending the city-owned land to the club free of charge for the foreseeable future.

Image: Tochigi City Football Club

Article provided by The Stadium Hub