14 May 2009

For the Next Home Game

Mito's next home game against Consadole Sapporo will be a rough one for attendance. Weekday crowds can be half of the already low weekend crowds, the opposing Sapporo fans (already taking flights to most away games) will likewise be much lower in that situation, and should the weather turn bad (long forecasts show cloudy or rainy conditions) the crowd might very well drop below 1,000 as it did last year at one point in similar conditions.

To counter that, the club has two plans to boost attendance.

The first is the continuation of the collaboration with New Japan Pro Wrestling by featuring an appearance by Hiroshi Tanahashi on that day. He was until recently the top champion of the promotion and was the top star during the group's cooperation with American promotion TNA. He's easily the third biggest name they have, behind head Antonio Inoki (who wouldn't make such an appearance) and Masahiro Chono, who came to a Mito home game last year and scored a PK goal against Holly-kun. Although to be fair, Omiya Ardija DID promote the appearance of a comedian impersonator of Inoki earlier this season. This promotion will advertise the NJPW event to take place in the Mito Citizen's Athletic Hall on the 31st, which is actually located in between the 1-minute walk between the player dormitory and Holly Pitch training ground. With such easy access, most Mito players will likely be there, and the cheerleading team and merchandise tent will be in action.

The other feature to entice attendance is the "one coin" campaign, where those arriving at least 30 minutes into the match can enter for 500 yen. It's aimed at workers and students in the area who might not be able to make it in time kickoff after work or school and be reticent about paying for a full priced ticket.

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