Preparing for Tokyo 2020

By Maggie Franke

Late November marked the official completion of Tokyo’s National Stadium, which was built primarily for its upcoming use in the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, according to Reuters.

“Completed at a cost of more than $1.25 billion, the stadium, which can accommodate 60,000, will also host athletics and soccer events during the Games,” Jack Tarrant wrote in the Reuters article published on Nov. 29.

Oftentimes, questions of monetary value and excess spending emerge when looking at the numbers involved with preparing for the Olympics and building new arenas for sport-purposes. The National Stadium in Tokyo was actually redesigned after citizens of the country said that the original design cost too much.

The cost of sports venues

In the wake of the development of this new stadium, USA Today published an article noting the most expensive stadiums in the world.

Topping the list, valued at $1.7 billion to build, is MetLife Stadium, home to the NFL team the New York Giants in New Jersey.

Rounding out the top five are Yankee Stadium, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, AT&T Stadium and Levi’s Stadium. All of these stadiums were built in the last decade, and Arlington, Texas’ AT&T Stadium was the first to break the $1 billion-barrier.

Many of the stadiums in USA Today’s Top 25 list are used on a weekly basis during their team’s seasons and host anything from concerts to political rallies. The worth of building a stadium for one specific Olympic Games consistently brings the cost of hosting the event under fire.

An economic burden on Olympic hosts

While the $1.25 billion that Japan spent on their stadium is a big chunk of change, The Mainichi published an article this morning estimating that the Tokyo 2020 Games will cost upwards of $9.77 billion.

“The figure, projected to be spent on 340 different projects, is seven times larger than what the state had initially agreed on, at 150 billion yen,” the article writes. 150 billion yen is equivalent to $1.38 billion.

The $500 million Tokyo Aquatics Centre will likely be finished in March even though the interior was revealed back in mid-November. It is the last permanent venue to be finished for the games with a 15,000-person capacity and an Olympic-sized 50-meter pool.

Organizing the venues

There are two main “zones” of Olympic venues in Tokyo. The Heritage Zone is actually the site from the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and will touch on themes of history, tradition, and legacy. The Tokyo Bay Zone will highlight innovation and modern technology/style.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be held from Friday, July 24 through Sunday Aug, 9, 2020.

Photo courtesy of the Olympic Channel