News

Japan may scale down new 2020 Olympic stadium

Japan may scale down new 2020 Olympic stadium

OLYMPIC STADIUM: The Tokyo Stadium, one of the proposed Olympic stadiums for the 2020 Summer Olympic games, is seen in this computer-generated file handout image provided by the Tokyo 2020 Bid Committee. Photo: Reuters

TOKYO – (Reuters) – Japan may scale down its plans for a new Tokyo stadium for the 2020 Olympic Games in an effort to curtail rising costs and fend off criticism the originally planned building is too large.

Olympics minister Hakubun Shimomura told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday that the new stadium could cost as much as 300 billion yen ($3.08 billion), as opposed to the 130 billion yen in Tokyo’s bid proposal, and that the government would consider scaling back.

An official at the Education Ministry said the original estimate was for the stadium alone, and the additional costs would be for landscaping and other work on the grounds around the new stadium, which would have 80,000 seats compared to 54,000 in the present stadium.

“The minister meant two things – that while guaranteeing the stadium has the needed facilities and scale to host the Olympics, the building could be made smaller, more compact,” said Yukio Yamamoto, in the ministry’s Sports and Youth bureau.

“Then there’s also the idea that the cost may be too much,” added Yamamoto, who confirmed that reductions in both are being considered although nothing has been decided.

The spaceship-like stadium was designed by London architect Zaha Hadid, who also designed the aquatics center for the London 2012 Olympics.

The present national stadium, which was built to host the 1964 Olympics, is set to be demolished next year.

The plans have come under criticism from Japanese architects, who say it is too big and would not blend in with its environment. Its construction would also require cutting down a number of trees, a precious commodity in crowded Tokyo.

Yamamoto said any changes might reduce the amount of space for things such as exhibition rooms, but that things essential for hosting the international sports extravaganza would be untouched and the number of seats would be unchanged.

“Basically the changes would be to make the stadium the ‘correct’ size, it would not be of a size that would make it impossible to host the Olympics,” he said. “It’s a matter of making it the right size and the right cost.”

Latest Headlines

5 hours ago in Music

This week’s top alternative tracks

coldplay

LISTEN: This week's top alternative songs, according to the weekly Billboard chart.

1 day ago in Entertainment

Bill Murray tosses fans’ phones off rooftop

billmurray

The "Ghostbusters" star was unwinding at rooftop restaurant in California on Thursday when he spotted two starstruck fans trying to snap his photo.

1 day ago in Entertainment

OPENING WEEKEND: ‘Deadpool,’ ‘Zoolander 2’ to battle at the box office

15-overlay-6

Here's a look at some of the films set to open this weekend.

1 day ago in Entertainment, National

Roses and roaches: Cold-hearted Valentine’s Day ideas

valentines

With the coldest air in more than a decade forecast to grip the United States this Valentine's Day weekend, the holiday dedicated to love is flashing its frigid side.

1 day ago in Music, Entertainment

Woodstock 50th anniversary celebration in the works

woodstock

Organizers of the original Woodstock festival are trying to get something together to mark the golden anniversary of the event in 2019.