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Japanese music and sports bodies join forces

The Entertainment Committee for Stadium · Arena (ECSA), backed by promoters' association ACPC, aims to "revitalise" Japan's large venues beyond the 2020 Olympics

By Jon Chapple on 03 Apr 2019

Saburo Kawabuchi, Takeo Nakanishi, ECSA

JTL president Saburo Kawabuchi (left) and Takeo Nakanishi, chair of ACPC

Japanese promoters’ association ACPC has joined forces with Japan Top League (JTL), an alliance of 12 leading sports leagues, to form the Entertainment Committee for Stadium · Arena (ECSA), a joint venture which aims to improve and develop Japan’s large-venue infrastructure.

ECSA, which launched on 21 February, will hold its first general meeting later this month.

Japan’s live music market recovered in 2017, growing 2.5% to reach a record high of ¥513.8bn (US$4.67bn) – largely as a result of the reopening of two arenas, Saitama Super Arena (37,000-cap.) in Tokyo and Yokohama Arena (17,000-cap.), the Live Entertainment White Paper 2018 revealed. However, the country is still considered to have a dearth of large venues, and ticket agency Ticket Pia is building its own 10,000-capacity venue, also in Yokohama, in response to what is calls the “venue shortage”.

According to ACPC (All-Japan Concert and Live Entertainment Promoters Conference), ECSA aims to pool the two parties’ knowledge both to ensure existing venues are used effectively, and to stimulate the building of new properties.

ECSA will “accumulate mutual knowhow regarding the construction and management of stadia and arenas”

“With the increase of worldwide sporting events, including the [2020] Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, not only are event styles and content at venues becoming more diverse, but [audiences] also have an expectation that stadiums/arenas, which are common facilities for both sports and music, will be improved in terms of their effective use,” according to a ACPC-JTL joint statement.

ATL members include the J League, Japan’s top-flight football league, equivalent to the Premier League or Serie A; Japan Rugby Top League; Hockey Japan; and X League, the top-level American football league.

“By accumulating mutual knowhow regarding the construction and management of stadia and arenas, ECSA considers and proposes [the improvement] of facilities loved by local communities,” continues the statement, “revitalising the value of their content and the local economies, thus contributing to the improvement of the nation’s quality of life.”

ACPC was instrumental in the recent passage of a law effectively criminalising for-profit ticket resale in Japan, on the pain of a one-year prison sentence and/or a fine of up to ¥1m (US$8,900).


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