Yamagata Park Stadium or ND Soft Stadium Yamagata as it is currently know for reasons of sponsorship has been home to Montedio Yamagata since 1999. It is capable of seating 21,292 supporters after undergoing expansions in 1995 and more recently in 2011.
ND Soft Stadium Yamagata first opened in June 1991 where it hosted a match of the Kirin Cup between Thailand and Japan’s national teams. Used as the main venue of Japan’s 47th National Sports Festival, the stadium is multi-purpose in design and features athletics facilities around the perimeter of the pitch.
The inaugural J-League match was played on 27th April 1996 between JEF United Ichihara and Gamba Osaka infront of a crowd of 13,153. In order to host matches of the newly formed football league the stadium had to undergo numerous renovations including expansion from 16,000 to 20,315, and the enlargement of the pitch to standard football dimensions.
However it wouldn’t be until the J.League Division 2 was formed in 1999 that the Soft Stadium would find a permanent resident. NEC Yamagata Soccer Club were an amateur team who first founded in 1984, however they were rebranded, and renamed to Montedio Yamagata in 1996.
In 2009 Montedio Yamagata played in the J.League division 1 for the first time in the club’s history after finishing second just behind Sanfrecce Hiroshima. As the club have yet to qualify for the AFC Champions League, this is currently the highest level of football played at the stadium to date.
The largest attendance to date of 20,231 was achieved on 17th July 2010 when Montedio took on Vegalta Sendai in a battle of the newly promoted teams. The stadium was expanded slightly the following season when over 1,000 seats were installed to increase the capacity to 21,292.