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Proposed Ginowan giant game center worries area residents

Date Posted: 2007-08-16

An Osaka-based company wants to build a sports leisure facility on landfill near the Okinawa Convention Center in Ginowan, but local citizens aren't so sure it's a good idea.

Ground One has presented a design for a seven-story sports facility featuring everything from bowling to skating, tennis and table tennis. It also plans game machines, an amusement facility and karaoke. The company plans to operate the sports center, Spoccha, daily until 6 a.m.

Area residents are fearful about that idea, citing concerns about juvenile delinquency and the Spoccha becoming a hangout for motorcycle gangs. Store development Manager Masashi Suzuki dispels the concerns, telling the community it will bar junior high school age youth after 6 p.m., and high school age teens under 18 until 10 p.m. “It’s a sports facility where families can have fun,” Suzuki says, “and we’re thinking about having professional and amateur bowling championships.” He promises Spoccha won’t make local youth problems worse.

The heart of the new, 27,480 square meters facility is a 38-lane bowling alley. Ground One is meeting with Ginowan City officials. The Ginowan City Chamber of Commerce and local civic groups are encouraging the city to turn the project down, saying the “facility will give juveniles baneful influence.” Smaller entertainment parlors are also viewing the sprawling center as tough competition.

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