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

in Entertainment

Cosby to be deposed in sexual abuse lawsuit


Bill Cosby was expected to testify under oath in a lawsuit brought by a woman accusing the veteran comedian of sexual abuse.

in Entertainment

OPENING WEEKEND: Biopic ‘Steve Jobs’ competes against ‘Pan,’ ‘The Walk’


Here's a look at the movies set to open nationwide this weekend.

in Viral Videos

WATCH: Soldier breaks rank to hug daughter at homecoming


Top brass at a Colorado Army post are all smiles after a 2-year-old girl interrupted a general's speech to dash across the room and hug her dad, who had just come home from a nine-month deployment.

in Entertainment

‘Ant-Man’ sequel and three more Marvel movies are coming


The superhero universe will add three more as of yet unnamed movies by 2020.

in Entertainment

Carlton says there won’t be a ‘Fresh Prince’ reboot


Alfonso Ribeiro is adamant there will never be a TV reboot of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," because no one can take the place of their "cornerstone" James Avery.