Saitama Super Arena
Saitama Super Arena is a multi-purpose sports arena and concert venue located in the Chuo-ku ward of Saitama City, to the north of Tokyo, to which many Saitama residents commute for work. Located near the main commercial and government precincts of Saitama, the arena was completed in 2000.
An indoor venue, the Saitama Super Arena seats up to 37,000 people, but has several flexible seating configurations. Smaller, more intimate concert settings of around 6,000 people are provided by the Hall, created by partitioning the Main Arena, which itself occupies about half of the overall entertainment venue. The Main Arena itself holds up to 22,000 people for sports such as basketball or hockey. A huge 15,000 ton structure known as the Moving Block, itself holding 9,000 seats, can be moved to one end of the building to create the Stadium, which seats more than 30,000 people for events such as the various football codes. When the Moving Block is located to configure the Main Arena, the remainder of the Stadium, known as the Community Arena, can be used for separate events or for extensions of the event in the Main Arena, such as providing warm-up courts for a tennis tournament. Large scale concerts also take place, seating at times up to the maximum capacity of the arena.
Hello! Project has held events at Saitama Super Arena, usually occupying the full capacity of the Stadium for major concert tours such as happened for the Morning Musume Concert Tour 2002 Haru "LOVE IS ALIVE!". The Hello! Project Sports Festival, held at Saitama in December 2004, was a new and innovative event for that organization. Hirai Ken held the closing concert of his 10th anniversary tour at the arena in 2005.
The Saitama Super Arena houses the permanent John Lennon Museum, which includes his widow Yoko Ono's collection of her husband's memorabilia and other exhibits. Shops and numerous restaurants, as well as a gymnasium and a cultural centre providing public classes, are also located within the arena building.
The Saitama Super Arena is scheduled to host the Basketball World Championship in 2006.