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Plan floated for 1st soccer stadium in central Tokyo

Plan floated for 1st soccer stadium in central Tokyo

A Tokyo ward that’s home to the author of a popular soccer-themed manga series Captain Tsubasa will acquire land for the construction of a top professional league soccer stadium.

Katsushika ward officials made the announcement at an assembly committee meeting on Monday.

Officials said the ward will acquire 68,000 square meters of land near JR Shinkoiwa Station to build a 15,000-seat soccer stadium. The property is currently a sports ground.

Takahashi Yoichi, who is the author of the manga series, is from Katsushika Ward. The ward also aims to build a museum featuring the manga.

Officials say they are soon planning to sign an agreement with the property owner, Promotion and Mutual Aid Corporation for Private Schools of Japan, an affiliated organization of the education ministry. The property is worth 35 billion yen, or 269 million dollars.

Officials say the stadium, if built, would be the first soccer stadium in Tokyo’s 23 wards that meets the J1 League’s seating requirements.

The timing of the stadium’s construction is yet to be decided, as the ward plans to let residents use the sports ground for a while after it gains the title to the property in March 2024.

Takahashi has been advocating for the construction of a stadium in the ward. He is the founder and owner of a men’s soccer club that he named Nankatsu SC. He took the name from the boys’ soccer club for which the protagonist of the manga series plays.

His club is aiming for promotion to the J.League. The ward office wants to make the planned stadium the club’s home turf.

Takahashi says he started writing Captain Tsubasa before the J.League was established. He says he was envious of people in Europe who can see soccer matches every weekend at their local stadiums.

He says he is excited just to think that Katsushika Ward might have a soccer stadium and that the world’s top players might play there.

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