Okinawa pro-soccer stadium project starts taking shape
Okinawa Prefecture started Tuesday to issue requests for proposals for constructing a new soccer stadium in Naha that would meet the requirements for playing regular games of the Japan Professional Soccer League.
Naha City, in agreement with Okinawa Prefecture and the Government of Japan, has already decided the location of the new stadium to be on the current site of the Onoyama Park Athletic Stadium in Naha City. However, details like sharing of the operation costs have not been agreed upon yet. Okinawa Prefecture aims to complete the construction by 2021 when the existing fund distribution mechanism expires, and to open the stadium in 2022.
Rules of the Japan Professional Soccer League require any new soccer stadium to have a capacity of more than 20,000 spectators for regular professional matches. An existing stadium must be able to accommodate an audience of more than 15,000 people.
Okinawa Prefecture is now inviting proposals for the basic plan of the facility, the estimated cost of the construction project and an estimated budget to run the facility.
Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga listed the reconstruction of the Onoyama Sports Park, and building the new soccer stadium as one of his main projects when he was the mayor of Naha City. At the gubernatorial election in 2010, Hirokazu Nakaima, the former governor, also listed the construction of the soccer stadium as one of his campaign promises. Okinawa Prefecture then selected the location among three possible sites and chose Onoyama Park as the best.
Toshihiro Nikai, the Secretary General of the Liberal-Democratic Party, is scheduled to inspect the Onoyama Park Wednesday during his visit to the prefecture. He is also expected to be given a presentation about the construction plan.