Kashima Soccer Stadium
  • Kashima Soccer Stadium (capacity: 40,728)
  • 26-2 Jinkoji, Kashima City, Ibaraki
  • Tel.+81-299-84-6622
The Stage Changing Shape but not Losing its Lustre
Kashima Antlers have called Kashima Soccer Stadium their home since 26 March 1993, but the first turning point came in 1996. It was this year that Ibaraki prefecture was selected as a host city of the 2002 FIFA World Cup and that Kashima Soccer Stadium was chosen as the venue. On 15 May 2001, Kashima Stadium’s capacity was increased to 41,800 in accordance with international venue standards. Of course, there was also the issue of how to make use of a 40,000-seat stadium after the festival of the World Cup had been and gone.

To resolve this issue, Antlers were named as administrators in 2006, at which time the Kashima Wellness Plaza was opened to provide a range of health services and the stadium began to be used in a variety of ways. In 2011 the club’s status as administrator was renewed, but that year another turning point arrived in the shape of the Great East Japan Earthquake of 11 March. Kashima Soccer Stadium was the only stadium of any professional sports team to be rendered unusable by the disaster, and after the reconstruction efforts it was established as a disaster prevention base for the local area.

In 2015 even more uses were established, as mall businesses were introduced. Ventures such as the Antlers Sports Clinic were opened on site, furthering the stadium’s importance as a regional hub. The stadium itself has also undergone renovations, and last year large new screens were installed on the North and South stands, alongside which the seats were renewed in the home (North) and away (South) stands, as well as on both the home and away benches. Furthermore, in July a high-density Wi-Fi service (‘ANTLERS Wi-Fi’) was installed, enabling the evolution into a ‘smart stadium’. This Wi-Fi provision means that events using AR/VR techniques can be conducted on match days, while it is also possible for the whole stadium to be used for events such as ‘Kashima Zombie Stadium’ and ‘Kashima Treasure Cup’.
Kashima Soccer Stadium chronology
1992Stadium construction begins
199326 March: Kashima Soccer Stadium completed / 4 May: Antlers v. Fluminense held as stadium-opening match. Zico scores the first goal for Kashima, who win 2-0 / 16 May: Opening J.League game (v. Nagoya). Zico scores a hat-trick and Alcindo scores twice as Antlers win 5-0.
1996 Ibaraki Prefecture chosen as one of the hosts of the FIFA World Cup 2002. A renovated Kashima Soccer Stadium selected as the venue.
1998 Renovations begin.
2000 12 August: J1 2nd Stage Round 9 (v, Fukuoka,1-1), final game to be played before venue is temporarily closed so renovations can be
2001 15 May: Renovations completed / 19 May: J1 1st stage Round 10 (v. Kashiwa, 3-2), first game after renovations / 31 May-4 June: Three group stage games held at FIFA Confederations Cup 2001.
2002 2-8 June: Three group stage games held at FIFA World Cup 2002.
2003 Partial repair work, capacity upgraded to 40,728 / Won J1 Best Pitch Award (currently J.League Best Pitch Award) / Hosted 15 J1 home games.
2004 Kashima Soccer Museum opened.
2005 Ibaraki Prefecture advertises for designated stadium administrator.
2006 1 April: Ibaraki Prefecture names Antlers as designated administrator (for five years) / Kashima Wellness Plaza opened.
2007 Gate 2 renamed ‘Sumitomo Metal Gate’ (currently ‘Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Gate’).
2008 18 October: J1, Round 29 (v. Kyoto, 2-1), LED wraparound advertising board installed on second floor stand (at 500 metres, the longest in Asia).
2009 23 July-28 August: Stadium beer garden opened / 25 July: J1, Round 19 (vs Kashiwa, 1-1), cumulative J.League home attendance of five million achieved.
2010 8 January-22 February: Partial repair work, recycled-material seats installed on lower level of main stand and back stand.
2011 Installed ‘View Box‘ seats / Independent operation of Kashima Wellness Plaza, start of aesthetic business / 11 March: The Great East Japan Earthquake / March-May: Provisional restoration work carried out / 1 April: Ibaraki Prefecture selects Antlers as designated administrator (term set as an unprecedented 10 years) / 4 June: Earthquake reconstruction charity event, ‘SMILE AGAIN’ held / 11 August: SMILE AGAIN II charity concert / December 2011-March 2012: Main restoration work, including installation of lighting system, begins.
2012 March: Ibaraki Prefecture, Kashima City, and Antlers establish disaster prevention agreement / Stadium camera system restoration supported by FIFA.
2013 March: Sub control room (game day video production) installed.
2015 3 August: Antlers Sports Clinic opened.
2017 February: Installed bouldering wall / April: Installed two new large electronic screens (one behind each goal) / July: High-density Wi-Fi (‘ANTLERS Wi-Fi’) installed / 10 July: IOC selects ‘Ibaraki Kashima Stadium’ as the official name for the venue as one of the host stadiums for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
2018 Kashima Soccer Museum renewal and installation of a public bath in Wellness Plaza.