From the Los Angeles Times
For obsessed sumo fans who can't afford the tickets to the sumo tournaments, the best place to go for seeing your favorite wrestling stars is the back gate. The Los Angeles Times often has interesting articles about Japan. In the Friday edition of the Times is an article about the best place to view sumo wrestlers for those who can't afford the tournament. It is the same in the US as well. People who hang out at the entrance to the secure parking area of a sports arena hoping to catch a glimpse of Kobe Bryant or Ichiro. Although you will probably never see any sports star in the US get "dropped off" by a taxi or private car at the stadium or arena.
According to the article, the sumo wrestlers will exit right out of a taxi cab at the sidewalk already dressed in their colorful robes. Yokozuna Asashoryu of course does not enter the arena like this. He and other top stars enter in limousines and are not seen by the fans out on the street. It is the lower level wrestlers that often arrive by cab, private car, or even the subway but that appears to be ok for the many fans waiting outside the back gate.
Most tickets for the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament start at $35 (approximately 3500 Yen) which does not seem too expensive but I guess due to the recession and the cost of living in Tokyo, that is more than many people can justify paying.
Back in the late 80's, early 90's, I did this after attending some Los Angeles Laker games at the old Forum. Magic Johnson and the other big Laker stars parked in the secure parking area under the Forum. I once saw Magic drive out in a large dark Mercedes. But some of the lower level players had to park outside. A few times I waited by the exit to their parking area and got a couple of autographs.