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.”

Recent Headlines

54 minutes ago in Local

Illinois Governor Grants 43 Clemency Requests

Fresh
jail

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn has taken action on about 100 clemency petitions, granting 43 and denying 65. Quinn…

60 minutes ago in Local

Illinois Obtains No Child Left Behind Waiver

Fresh
school_bus

Illinois has obtained a waiver from some parts of federal No Child Left Behind education law.

1 hour ago in Local

Illinois Medicaid Overpayments Discovered

Fresh
illinois-medicaid-program

CHICAGO (AP) — An internal state government memo says auditors have found the Illinois Medicaid program has paid an estimated…

yesterday in Local

Multiple Accidents on Dirksen Injure Seven, Two Critically

photowreck2

Two accidents on Dirksen Pkwy. injured seven people, and they were related.

yesterday in Local

Public Comments Invited on Rules for Medical Pot

marijuana

The proposed rules for medical marijuana are now available for public comment