A Shizuoka City official has hinted at the possibility of a highly-anticipated new football stadium that will potentially be built at the former ENEOS Shimizu Oil Depot site in the Shimizu Port located west of the Shizuoka city, the Shizuoka Shimbun has reported.

Takayuki Matsu-ura, the city’s head of planning, said during the city council’s regular September assembly meeting last Wednesday: “The possibility of the former ENEOS Shimizu Oil Depot site to be one of the candidate construction sites for the new football stadium is now high.”

This is the first time a city official has talked about a candidate site for a new football stadium in Shimizu. The J-League Division 1 (J1) football club Shimizu S-Pulse predominantly plays in the 20,248-capacity IAI Stadium Nihondaira (pictured) and occasionally shares the bigger 50,889-capacity Shizuoka Stadium ECOPA with local rival Jubilo Iwata. The IAI Stadium Nihondaira, however, does not meet some of the J-League’s stadium facility criteria and many supporters have been calling for a new, modern stadium to be built.

Nobuhiro Tanabe, the Shizuoka city mayor who was elected in April last year, promised to the voters during his election campaign that he would start planning for a new stadium project if elected.

In July this year, Shizuoka Prefecture Office and ENEOS, Japan’s biggest oil wholesaler, agreed to work together to turn the site into a next-generation energy supply base. The site is located on the eastern side of the Shimizu station and both parties considered the site suitable for a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plant. The local residents, however, vigorously campaigned against a new plant on the site, and ENEOS was forced to withdraw their initial plan.

Katsuyuki Ota, the president of ENEOS, said during a press conference in July: “While nothing has been decided on the potential site for the new football stadium, it is likely that, during our decision-making process for the potential use of the site, we will have to consider the possibility of developing the site for the new football stadium as an option.”

Takamasa Yamamoto, Shizuoka City’s director for “City of Maritime Culture”, revealed that the city will be involved in the future discussions, saying: “While exchanging ideas during our administrative meeting we came to agree that ENEOS, Shizuoka Prefecture Office, Shizuoka City, and the Shimizu Port City Collaborative, a public-private association established in 2018 to promote the economic development of the Shimizu Port area, will participate in future discussions.”

Image: S-Pulse

Article provided by The Stadium Hub