Ahead of TheStadiumBusiness Design & Development Summit in Manchester in December, we caught up with Naoki Tsukushi, Stadium Development Director at Japan’s Fukuyama City Football Club.
Tsukushi has been with Fukuyama City since May last year. The club currently plays at the 10,000-capacity Fukuyama Tsuun Rose Stadium (pictured), which is primarily an athletics venue.
Since 2004, Tsukushi has also worked as a director and senior stadium analyst at The Good Bankers Co. Ltd, an independent advisory company based in Japan. He has also spent time as a translator, director and production coordinator, with roles in Japan and Australia.
TheStadiumBusiness: What do you find exciting in the field of stadium design at present?
Naoki Tsukushi: “Well, traditionally Japan had been perceived to be quite behind when it comes to the development of purpose-built football stadia but 2024 will see three new football stadia opening in Hiroshima, Kanazawa, and Nagasaki.
“As a result, more than half of the 60 J-League football clubs will be playing at purpose-built football stadia from next year. Nonetheless, we realise there’s still a long way to go but we are all excited about this new era.”
TSB: What’s in the pipeline for Fukuyama City FC over the next six to 12 months?
NT: “We’ve recently been crowned champions of the Central Japan League (fifth division) for the second year running and are now looking forward to the upcoming Regional Champions League from which winning club(s) will be promoted to the Japan Football League (fourth division).
“With our short-term aim being entry to the J3 League, we’ll need an adequate football stadium for the J-League Club License and we are having discussions with architects as well as our key stakeholders.”
TSB: What are you most looking forward to about the Summit?
NT: “We would love to meet and chat with as many industry leaders as we can to get up to date with the latest ideas and cutting-edge technologies. We would also love to make new industry friends so we can share ideas and knowledges from different cultures and perspectives.”
Explore the future of stadium design with Naoki and hundreds of other stadium industry leaders, exclusively at #TDS23 at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester on December 6-7.