Creating an Exciting Community for Both Residents and Visitors
The smart city approach has been garnering global attention for its aim to solve energy, population, and other problems faced by cities and regions around the world.
We are endeavoring to make smart cities a reality. We first started down this path when we became the owner of the Yokohama DeNA BayStars professional baseball team in 2011. Our fans have continually increasing expectations for what we can do, and we have started to think about how we could build a community centered on sports and spread delight beyond our stadium.
We don't just focus on creating a community that is easy to live in and convenient. We also look to incorporate entertainment and make the community a fun place for both residents and visitors. In our view, that is the ideal smart city.
With the spread of technology many things are more convenient, and people have more free time at their disposal. What is important here is not just to increase that amount of free time, but make it so that this increased amount of free time makes people's lives richer. We believe this is our mission, and why we look to incorporate entertainment into our community building.
We aim to create a community that is easy to live in and convenient, but is also exciting and fun.
DeNA refers to our vision for a smart city as a Delightful City. We aim to provide more convenient daily life and exciting special moments to raise everyone's quality of life in our new urban spaces. With our Delightful City, we aim to make not just the residents but also the visitors fans of our community.
The stage for DeNA's Delightful City is Yokohama and Kanagawa. The content that forms the core of the community is sports.
Sports content has the universal power to bring people together, both physically and psychologically. Many people have probably experienced the strong bonds that can form while watching sports, where moments of excitement can lead people to high five strangers next to them and drink together in camaraderie. The connections can easily span generations and cross national borders. We firmly believe in the incredible power of sports to create bonds between people, and make that the core of our community creation.
We joined professional baseball in 2011 when we became the owners of the Yokohama DeNA BayStars. We worked on various initiatives to bring fans to the home Yokohama Stadium, and in 2019 we achieved a record high annual cumulative stadium attendance of 22.8 million people.
Having over 20.0 million people annually gather in our home stadium also means a variety of possible opportunities for business in the surrounding area and facilities. We will create vibrancy in the community, spread that to the surrounding area, and eventually create vibrancy throughout the community of Yokohama all through the year, even on days without games. To bring about synergies that DeNA cannot do alone, we need to coordinate with the local area.
As a first step, we are doing our best and working in cooperation with the local government and many companies on the City of Yokohama previous city hall district development project and on the largest live viewing arena in Japan.
Of course we will also draw out even further potential from the City of Yokohama, not limited to sports. We need holistic initiatives to enhance the appeal of the city. We plan to bring about a variety of approaches such as last mile mobility, where mobility is enhanced with smooth movement between various tourist spots around Yokohama, and making the entire city carbon-free, using green energy.
For companies with internet businesses not tied down to physical spaces, many aspects come together purely online. The lightness of the flexible network is a major strength. However, that doesn't always work for community creation. It is not possible to create a community without considering the real aspects: the daily lives and culture of the people who live there and the history that has built up.
As a single company participating in community creation, we believe that we need to serve as a member of the regional community, respecting the culture and history established in the place and working in cooperation with the people who supported the area over many years.
We need to constantly reaffirm our commitment to creating an appealing community. The local sports team in particular is a very important public asset for the region. We keep in mind that we are being entrusted with that asset, and aim to bring more value and give back to the region.
We are in a way newcomers to physical community creation. However, DeNA, who had our start as an internet company, has always been in the position of a newcomer in each of our new businesses, such as sports, healthcare, and automotive. As a group of newcomers, there is a fresh perspective and bold ideas we are able to bring that works as a strength for us. We will work together with the local people to create a delightful city for the future.