City of Kawasaki has unveiled its amended plan to redevelop the municipal facilities within the Todoroki Green Area, including a surprising proposal to redevelop the Todoroki Athletic Stadium into a purpose-built football stadium.
The long-anticipated redevelopment of the Todoroki Athletic Stadium, home to the reigning J-League Division 1 (J1) champions Kawasaki Frontale, had previously been seen by many fans and supporters of the club – as well as the Kawasaki residents – as a “mission impossible” as the city officials had maintained that the city required an athletic stadium to host international athletic events. The city has stated previously that there was no other location available for a football-specific stadium.
The new scheme includes the complete removal of the athletic tracks and the addition of seats to the rear and two side stands behind the goals to increase the overall capacity of the stadium from 27,000 to 35,000. The city will invite the residents to submit their feedback to the plan from 1 June to 30 June and finalise the plan before 31 March 2022.
The city has also prosed to redevelop the secondary athletic field within the same Green Area into a modernised athletic stadium but it has also confirmed that the redeveloped facility will not meet the standards required to host international events.
Japan Sports Agency, which promotes stadium and arena innovations, welcomed Kawasaki’s proposal and released a statement, saying: “We expect this stadium redevelopment plan, capitalising on the many potentials that the surrounding environment of the Todoroki area offers, could promote the regional economy to grow sustainably with the new football stadium acting as the core driving force.”
The spokesperson of Kawasaki Frontale, who won three league titles in the last four years, welcomed the city’s proposal, and told the sports news site Sports Hochi: “Although what’s on the table at the moment is still an early draft proposal, we really appreciate how the things are developing. Our fans have been struggling to buy tickets as most matches sell out quickly but an increase in the capacity means more fans will have a chance to attend matches. Our goal is to play in a stadium that is welcoming and open to all Kawasaki residents so we hope the new redeveloped stadium will attract many people and provide diverse range of funs to both the local residents and visitors to Kawasaki.”