Edion Peace Wing Hiroshima marks J1 League bow with home win

Featured image credit: Edion Peace Wing Hiroshima

Sanfrecce Hiroshima opened the 2024 J1 League season today (Friday) with a 2-0 win over Urawa Reds at its new stadium, Edion Peace Wing Hiroshima.

The 28,520-seat venue officially opened on February 1, but staged its first competitive game to mark the start of the new campaign of the top division of Japanese club football. New signing, Yuki Ohashi, was the hero for Hiroshima, scoring both goals.

“Debuting for the club on this historic day at the new stadium, I wanted to live up to the efforts of everyone who helped build such a fantastic ground,” he said, according to the Kyodo news agency.

In March 2021, the City of Hiroshima announced the winning consortium for its new football stadium project after four consortia presented their respective proposals. The winning consortium was headed by the construction giant Taisei Corporation and consisted of seven companies including Tohata Architects & Engineers.

The consortium’s design included a restaurant on the fourth floor overlooking the cityscape, a VIP lounge with a modern Japanese take, a multi-purpose concourse that can be used on non-matchdays, a tunnel lounge from which club members can watch the players enter the field, and a single-tier South Stand for home supporters.

Located in central Hiroshima, within walking distance of the world-famous Atomic Bomb Dome, Edion Peace Wing Hiroshima has been designed to encourage non-matchday usage and visitation, with a grass field and other commercial facilities due to open in August.

“The location of our new stadium is like Jingu Stadium and the National Stadium for Tokyo,” a public relations officer told Kyodo earlier this week. “But no other (Japanese) city has a football-only stadium in a prime location like ours.”

Edion Peace Wing Hiroshima’s 28,520 capacity is smaller than the homes of many other J1 League clubs, but this was purposely decided in an effort to enhance the fan experience. Around eight metres separate the pitch from the stands, which were built with extra leg space and drinks holders.

Hiroshima has been planning its new home for over a decade. Two potential locations were shortlisted, with the one selected being north of the former stadium site of baseball team Hiroshima Carp.