Toyota will bring its expertise in mobility and technology to the design of what it calls the next generation sports arena.
The Japanese company known for its cars and trucks announced a partnership in Tokyo on Monday to transform an automotive theme park site there into a sustainable, configurable sports arena by 2025. Toyota closed the theme park site, Mega Webin 2021. Toyota Motor Corp., parent company of Toyota North America, based in Plano, will work with Toyota Fudosan and Alvark Toyota on the project.
The Tokyo A-Arena will host Toyota’s professional basketball team, AlvarkTokyo, and include the main arena, a sub-arena, and a building for team operations. It will also include two rooftop park spaces for the public where sports events and training can take place.
The arena will be designed in such a way that different aspects of the facility can be moved around, making each event and experience unique. Spectators will also be able to order food from their seats, enhancing the sporting experience.
Tomohide Yamamura, President of Toyota Fudosanwho manages the development, said in a joint presentation that “there is no separation between the entrance to the pitch, so you can feel the feeling of being in the heart of the action from the moment you enter”.
While being the home of Alvark Toyota, the space can also be used for other sports like volleyball or urban sports like skateboarding and BMX.
Toyota has a long history with sports, dating back to company founder Kiichiro Toyoda, who established an athletics club in 1937. He dreamed of developing the automotive industry in Japan through the power and impact of sport. Toyota sponsors athletes and sports teams around the world, including Toyota Stadium in Frisco, home of the FC Dallas professional soccer team.
The company’s president, Akio Toyoda, grandson of the founder, continued his grandfather’s mission.
“In the 13 years since I became president, there has not been a time when I could say he was peaceful. However, throughout it all, it was the athletes who cheered me on,” Akio Toyoda said in a statement. “Each time I saw these athletes refusing to give up, I too felt that I had to do my best and not give up. It is no exaggeration to say that Toyota overcame many difficulties thanks to the support that sport has given us.
The arena project has two main goals: to create appreciation for athletes and to provide new experiences for spectators using mobility and technology, Toyota Vice President Shigeru Hayakawa said during the presentation.
Another goal is to prioritize sustainability.
“From a sustainability standpoint, we are looking to acquire LEED certification,” Yamamura said, referring to the global standard for designing, constructing and operating high-performance green buildings. “Although there are currently no LEED-certified arenas in Japan, we hope to reach an international standard in terms of the environment.”
There are several dozen LEED-certified stadiums in the United States, including the Toyota Center in Houston.
Toyota’s new arena will also work to eliminate food waste and reduce the use of plastic in the facility.
Sustainability is a major part of Toyota’s future. The company has invested in hydrogen and other renewable energy options. He was also at the forefront of the development of electric vehicles.