Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium

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Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium
釜石鵜住居復興スタジアム
釜石鵜住居復興スタジアム.jpg
LocationKamaishi, Iwate, Japan
Coordinates39°19′40″N 141°53′32″E / 39.32778°N 141.89222°E / 39.32778; 141.89222Coordinates: 39°19′40″N 141°53′32″E / 39.32778°N 141.89222°E / 39.32778; 141.89222
Public transitUnosumai Station
OwnerKamaishi City
Capacity16,187 (Rugby World Cup)[1]
6,000 (permanent)
Construction
Broke groundApril 2017
Opened19 August 2018
Construction cost¥3 billion
Tenants
2019 Rugby World Cup

Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium (Japanese: 釜石鵜住居復興スタジアム, Hepburn: Kamaishi Unosumai Fukkō Sutajiamu), also known as Kamaishi Unosumai Stadium, is a stadium in Unosumai-cho, Kamaishi, Iwate. Construction on the 16,187-seat venue broke ground in April 2017 and it was completed on 19 August 2018. It hosted one pool match during the 2019 Rugby World Cup, with another scheduled match that was cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis.

History[edit]

The city of Kamaishi historically hosted one of Japan's most successful rugby union clubs, Nippon Steel Kamaishi, which won several national titles during the 1970s and 1980s. The club folded in 2001 and was replaced by the Kamaishi Seawaves.[2] Kamaishi suffered major damage during the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, leaving over 1,000 residents dead or missing, and damaging a large portion of the city.[3]

In 2014, the municipal government announced that it would bid to host part of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and build a new stadium as part of the Unosumai area's post-disaster recovery.[4][5] The stadium, to be located on the former site of schools that were destroyed in the tsunami,[6] was named as one of twelve venues selected in March 2015 by World Rugby for the tournament.[2][7] The ¥3 billion cost of the stadium attracted criticism from residents and observers, noting that the area was in need of rebuilt infrastructure and permanent housing for displaced residents.[4][8]

Construction on the stadium began in April 2017, with a groundbreaking and prayer ceremony, and was completed in July 2018.[9][10] The stadium opened on 19 August 2018 for an exhibition match between the Kamaishi Seawaves and Yamaha Júbilo, attended by 6,000 people.[8] Unosumai Station on JR East's Yamada Line will be rebuilt to serve the stadium.[1] The stadium will be expanded to 16,000 seats for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and host two group matches.[11] The city government also plans to promote the stadium in Japan's bid to host the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.[12]

Two pool matches of the 2019 Rugby World Cup were scheduled to be played at the stadium, but only one was contested, with Uruguay achieving an upset victory over Fiji on 25 September.[13] The match between Namibia and Canada scheduled for 13 October 2019 was cancelled due to the effects of Typhoon Hagibis on the local area.[14][15]

Design[edit]

The stadium used 10,000 temporary seats for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, with 6,000 permanent seats remaining after the tournament.[6] The temporary seating uses local Japanese cedar that was harvested after a wildfire in 2017. It is the first venue in Japan to use AirFibr, a type of hybrid grass surface.[16]

2019 Rugby World Cup matches[edit]

Date Time (JST) Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Attendance
25 September 2019 14:15  Fiji 27–30  Uruguay Pool C 14,025
13 October 2019 12:15  Namibia 0–0 (Cancelled)[14]  Canada Pool B N/A

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "釜石鵜住居復興スタジアム (仮称)" [Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium (Tentative Name)] (in Japanese). World Rugby. 1 December 2016. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b Ikezawa, Hiroshi (3 March 2015). "Twelve cities selected for 2019 RWC". The Japan Times. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  3. ^ "About Kamaishi City". Kamaishi City. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  4. ^ a b Psaltis, Eleni (27 July 2015). "Tsunami-devestated Kamaishi hoping luck turns on 2019 Ruby World Cup". ABC News Radio. Sydney, Australia. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  5. ^ "平成26年7月4日記者会見" [Press conference: 4 July 2014] (in Japanese). Kamaishi City. 4 July 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  6. ^ a b Takahama, Yukihito (12 October 2017). "Hard plastic seats await 99% of spectators at 2020 Olympics". Asahi Shimbun. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Tsunami-ravaged Kamaishi to host Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup matches". Stuff.co.nz. 3 March 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  8. ^ a b McCurry, Justin (20 August 2018). "Rugby World Cup stadium opens as a symbol of 'hope' in tsunami-hit Kamaishi". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  9. ^ "ラグビーW杯へ鵜住居スタジアム着工、来年7月の完成目指す〜復興支援、世界へ感謝の場に" [Construction underway at Rugby World Cup stadium in Unosumai, to be completed next July]. Kamaishi Shinbun (in Japanese). 4 May 2017. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  10. ^ McKirdy, Andrew (22 August 2018). "New stadium gives recovering Kamaishi hope for future". The Japan Times. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  11. ^ "Hope on day rugby came back to Kamaishi". Asahi Shimbun. Reuters. 20 August 2018. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  12. ^ "釜石市のスポーツ公園整備ならびにラグビーワールドカップ2019開催都市立候補のコンセプト" [Development of Kamaishi City Sports Park and 2019 Rugby World Cup Candidate City Concept] (PDF) (in Japanese). Kamaishi City. 4 July 2015. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  13. ^ Schofield, Daniel (25 September 2019). "Uruguay stun Fiji to deliver biggest shock victory of the World Cup so far". The Telegraph. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  14. ^ a b "Namibia v Canada Match Cancelled, Hanazono and Kumamoto Matches Go Ahead" (Press release). World Rugby. 13 October 2019. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  15. ^ Kitson, Robert (12 October 2019). "Rugby World Cup: Scotland v Japan match to go ahead". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  16. ^ "Building the Economic & Sporting Legacy of Rugby World Cup 2019" (PDF). Foreign Press Center Japan. 21 February 2019. pp. 22, 24. Retrieved 20 October 2019.