Mito HollyHock are a professional soccer club in the J. League. Their hometown is the entire Ibaraki prefecture and presently they are part of the J2 league. Their home stadium is the K’s denki Stadium Mito in Mito city.
The team’s predecessor was FC Mito, that was founded in 1994 in Mito city. The present team was born in 1997 when FC Mito merged with Prima Ham FC Tsuchiura. Prima Ham FC Tsuchiura were a works team, that won second place in the 1996 Japan Regional Football Champions League, which secured their promotion to the Japan Football League (former JFL) in 1997. But because Prima Ham stopped supporting their soccer team, they ended up merging with FC Mito.
In 1997, Mito HollyHock competed in the old JFL and out 16 teams they finished last that season. The following year they hoped to regain their strength by rallying the team behind, German A-Class licensed, manager Toshiya Miura. But because the club consisted of professional players that were holding part time jobs to make a living, it was hard to improve their results and they ended in 14th place that season too.
This meant that their application to join J. League’s 2nd division (J2) also went unanswered. Following the J. League split into the two division system, the Mito HollyHock joined the newly established JFL. Since they were able to maintain 3rd place throughout the season, they were finally accepted into the J. League starting from 2000.
However, after their promotion to J2, in 2000, the team’s results in the league matches and Emperor’s Cup have not improved in the least bit and they have become know as a team that fights in the lower ranks of the league. Moreover, interest towards the HollyHock is low within their local Mito citizens and very few people there know anything about the team. Their low stadium visitor numbers also effect the team’s earnings, budget and ability to recruit better players, meaning that in many ways they continue to be stuck in the worst position in the J. League.
On top of that, because their home stadium K’s denki Stadium Mito does not meet the J1 standard for viewer accommodation (15 000 people), they are still without a J1 Club license, and would first have to solve the problem of rebuilding their stadium before they could promote to J1.
The Mito HollyHock home jersey is blue, their suppliers were previously PUMA and mitre, but presently it is handled by GAViC. Mito’s representing electronics retail store K’s denki sponsor logo is on the front of their jerseys.