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The Yomiuri Shimbun

4:52 am, June 20, 2014

By Atsuki Kira and Keita Kudo / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writers

In an effort to avoid negative publicity, the Tokyo metropolitan government is revising the construction plans of three facilities for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics to reduce costs while taking into account the environment and the facilities’ use after the Games.

“What kind of legacy will we leave [after the events]? We need to consider that from a realistic and reasonable perspective,” Tokyo Gov. Yoichi Masuzoe said at the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly on June 10 when he announced a review of the initial plan Tokyo submitted for the bid.

Nine months have passed since Tokyo won the bid. Though the application file is seen as an international pledge, a senior official of the Tokyo metropolitan government said the revision was “inevitable.”

At the time of the bid, the 10 facilities that Tokyo planned to build were estimated to cost a combined ¥153.8 billion. However, after recalculation late last year, the figure jumped to about ¥380 billion due to soaring material and payroll costs, apparently as the result of the rising reconstruction demand following the Great East Japan Earthquake. That is close to the ¥410 billion in funds that Tokyo disclosed as a demonstration of its financial strength.

But the recalculation was kept secret, as an official concerned confessed, “We thought the impact would be too great if we revealed it then.”

Tokyo, however, decided to announce the review of the initial plan out of concern that it could be severely criticized for wasting money if construction was carried out as planned.

The deadline to submit an official plan to the International Olympic Committee is February 2015. As bidding for the basic design of each facility is scheduled to start in July, the decision is considered last-minute.

15 times original estimate

Sea Forest Waterway on Tokyo Bay Central Breakwater, a venue for canoe-kayak sprint and rowing, showed the greatest gap between the initial cost estimate and the recalculation.

A 2.5-kilometer course is planned on a waterway to be situated on a landfill of nonburnable trash. But it was later revealed in discussions with sports associations and neighboring local governments that a dam needed to be built to maintain a still water area and the landing facility for nonburnable trash would have to be moved, raising the cost from the initial ¥6.9 billion to an estimated ¥100 billion.

A source close to the bidding said the plan in the application file was “made for the time being, when placing the winning bid was the top priority.” A detailed estimate of the construction cost was reportedly at the bottom of the list.

Another miscalculation involves Youth Plaza, a venue for basketball and badminton, which was planned to be built on an artificial island created with waste landfill during the nation’s high economic growth period. The ground is not strong enough to build an athletic facility, so the soil must be reinforced.

Ariake Arena, a venue for volleyball, is scheduled to be constructed about four kilometers away from Youth Plaza, and there has been criticism that two similar facilities will be located too close to each other. Therefore, the government is leaning toward not constructing Youth Plaza.

If basketball games are held at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama and badminton at Musashino Forest Sport Center in Chofu, Tokyo, a total of ¥36.4 billion can be saved.

Tokyo also decided to revise the initial plan because “it’s easier to win Tokyo residents’ understanding if we utilize existing facilities,” a Tokyo metropolitan government official said.

Environmental concerns

Kasai Rinkai Park in Edogawa Ward, a venue for canoe-kayak slalom, has also been an issue of concern. It has been facing strong objections from such groups as the Wild Bird Society of Japan, which insists the park is a valuable place for people to enjoy nature. Under the plan, about a quarter of the park land will be used to build an artificial course where freshwater runs and a spectators’ stand with 15,000 seats will be constructed. The committee planned to remove the stands after the Olympics while leaving the course as a permanent facility.

Although the IOC rated the plan highly in the beginning, the Olympic Charter also calls for sustainable development of facilities for the Games. Masuzoe then decided to use land owned by the metropolitan government next to the park, saying it is also necessary to give consideration to natural environment. “The Olympics will be held with the efforts of the entire nation, so an image that is negative in even the slightest cannot be allowed. This review of the initial plan is significant in this regard,” a senior official of the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games said.

At the 2012 London Olympics, organizers moved the venues of badminton and rhythmic gymnastics to existing facilities located about 30 kilometers away due to a recession triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008. This saved about ¥2.9 billion.

Yomiuri

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0001366039

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maybe they should just hold an IOC session there

Why don't you ever post shortly after the previous comment? That way, I wouldn't have to deal with an extra notification for your shitty posts!

If they are so scared of costs and stuff why did they bid for the Olympics on the first place? They should had known what was coming to them. No offense but you can tell they really had no plans to de

I don't know what Tokyo needs in terms of venues, but looking at how many indoor arenas they already have, it always seemed to me that Youth Plaza was unnecessary and a waste of money, so I'm happy with that decision.

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IOC weighs Tokyo 2020 Olympic venue changes

The IOC wrapped up its first coordination commission meeting for the Tokyo 2020 Games on Friday, saying proposed changes to the venue plan are not as drastic as some have suggested.

Cost concerns have prompted Japanese Olympic organizers to review their initial plan of having the majority of venues within an 5-mile radius of the Athletes' Village venue.

Japanese media reported that some sports would be moved to Saitama, a prefecture about an hour north of Tokyo, but the IOC stated that was not discussed.

''We are not thinking about a change of venue to a venue in Saitama," IOC Vice President John Coates said. "Nothing has been put to us in that regard. We are having a general discussion at the moment. Yes, it was an important factor for all of us, the compactness of the games."

The IOC, under new President Thomas Bach, is looking at ways of reducing the costs of hosting future Olympics. Several cities declined to bid or have dropped out of the race for the 2022 Winter Games because of financial concerns.

Tokyo's centralization plan had been cited as a major factor in winning the 2020 hosting rights.

Coates said the only specific venue changed that was discussed was the location of the canoe slalom event which raised environmental concerns.

"Our advice was, well, if there's that opposition, look for another site." Coates said. "And they have identified another site on the same island quite proximate and the stage we're at now is we've recommended that there'll be discussions with the International Federation."

Tokyo, which hosted the 1964 Olympics, won the right to host the 2020 Games last September with a plan emphasizing the city's safety and advanced infrastructure. Of the 33 competition venues, 28 will be within 5 miles of the Olympic Village, which will be built on reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay.

Coates added that any venue changes cannot be made unilaterally by games organizers but must also be approved by the bodies which run the individual sports.

"There will be no changes unless there is full sign-off from the international federations," Coates said.

AP

http://msn.foxsports.com/olympics/story/ioc-weighs-tokyo-2020-venue-changes-062714

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I feel like bids are starting to give the IOC super glitzy venue plans, but always change them if they win to be more affordable.

Pyeongchang did a bit of the opposite. When they first put in a bid to the games, the opening and closing ceremonies were to take place at the ski jumping area similar to what Lillehammer did in 1994, but they are now building a new stadium for the purpose of the opening and closing ceremonies.

I don't know what Tokyo needs in terms of venues, but looking at how many indoor arenas they already have, it always seemed to me that Youth Plaza was unnecessary and a waste of money, so I'm happy with that decision.

One thing they do need is an updated Olympic stadium for opening and closing ceremonies. The current one is severely outdated, so it needs either a major renovation or a complete demolition and construct a new one in place of it. Either way, it's going to cost a lot, and it sounds like they want to do neither.

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Pyeongchang did a bit of the opposite. When they first put in a bid to the games, the opening and closing ceremonies were to take place at the ski jumping area similar to what Lillehammer did in 1994, but they are now building a new stadium for the purpose of the opening and closing ceremonies.

One thing they do need is an updated Olympic stadium for opening and closing ceremonies. The current one is severely outdated, so it needs either a major renovation or a complete demolition and construct a new one in place of it. Either way, it's going to cost a lot, and it sounds like they want to do neither.

Have you been following the news?

Years ago they had a contest for the new Olympic stadium. A Zaha Hadid behemoth won. Due to concerns about size and expense, she's trimmed it down some. The old stadium has officially closed and deconstruction has begun. The new stadium will be built on the same site and will host the 2019 rugby cup prior to the Olympics.

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Tokyo governor defends venue relocation plans

TOKYO (AP) - Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe on Wednesday defended his call to cut costs by relocating some venues for the 2020 Olympics, even if it threatens plans for having almost all the facilities close to the athletes village.

Tokyo won the right to host the 2020 Olympics last year with a promise to deliver a compact games, with 28 of the proposed 33 competition venues within five miles (8 kilometers) of the village.

But Japanese Olympic organizers said they are reviewing their venue plans because of concerns over rising costs. Japan has already informed the International Olympic Committee about its intention to review and revise its plans.

According to reports in the Japanese media, organizers are considering moving some venues to locations as far away as Saitama, which is part of the Greater Tokyo Area but an hour away from central Tokyo.

"Even if a venue is 100 kilometers (60 miles) away you can still achieve a maximum travel time of 30 minutes if the transportation system if appropriate," Masuzoe told a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan.

Masuzoe said the relocation of some venues outside that radius will not increase travel times between the facilities if good transportation systems are in place.

Insisting that he also has a responsibility to Tokyo taxpayers, Masuzoe said the games need to be compact in terms of cost and not just geography - a principle the IOC agrees with.

"Expenses can be 30, 40, 50 times more than the original plan," Masuzoe said. "How can I persuade the taxpayers to pay this kind of money? We are working with the IOC and the various sports federations to make the games sustainable. Legacy is very important. If you abolish everything after the games who can accept that?"

The IOC, under new President Thomas Bach, is currently looking at ways of reducing the costs of hosting future Olympics. Several cities declined to bid or have dropped out of the race for the 2022 Winter Games because of financial concerns.

Masuzoe did not refer specifically to plans to replace Tokyo's National Stadium with a colossal, 80,000-seat facility, the centerpiece of the city's Olympic bid. The proposed new stadium has caused protests over its size, cost and design.

http://m.apnews.com/ap/db_307134/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=xKsgh67q

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Municipalities outside Tokyo vie to host Games events at distant facilities

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The Yomiuri Shimbun

4:37 am, August 02, 2014

The Yomiuri Shimbun Since the Tokyo metropolitan government announced it would change part of the plans for facilities where the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics events will be held, several nearby prefectures have launched bids to host Games-related events at their local facilities. Some have already started preparations, promoting their ability to meet the requirements with fully-fledged facilities and convenient transportation. However, as a significant change of plans after Tokyo’s successful hosting bid could diminish the city’s international credibility, the metropolitan government and the Olympic organizing committee have shown a cautious welcome.

Disaster-hit areas interested

Hirofumi Fujinuma, 67, the president of the Iwate Clay Pigeon Shooting Association, submitted to the Iwate prefectural government and Hanamaki city office a written request on July 7, asking for cooperation in holding the clay and rifle shooting events at the city’s firing range. “We want to work together to host the shooting events to give hope and courage to people affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake,” he said.

According to Tokyo’s original plan, the shooting events are set to be held at a temporary facility to be built at a cost of ¥4.4 billion at the Ground Self-Defense Force’s Asaka Training Area that occupies land in Tokyo’s Nerima Ward and cities in Saitama Prefecture. However, some people involved with the sport said the facility should be designed to be usable afterward as an Olympic memorial site. The shooting association in Iwate Prefecture then made a bid to host the event at the firing range in Hanamaki.

The range has been under renovation for a national athletic meet scheduled for 2016 in Iwate Prefecture. The 2020 Games are based on the concept that the Olympics will be the ultimate compact event with 85 percent of venues concentrated within a radius of eight kilometers from a planned site for the athletes village. While the distance to the range in Hanamaki can be seen as a disadvantage, the site is located near a station on the Tohoku Shinkansen line as well as expressway entrances and exits. The shooting association has been asking airlines to restart a route between Hanamaki and Haneda airports that ceased operation about 30 years ago.

Local communities also have their hopes riding on the bid. Kanji Yoshida, the president of the Morioka Merchants’ Association, said, “The event can draw people from around the world, and the area hit by the 2011 disaster will be remembered even six years from now.” The association plans to submit a written request that the sports event be held in Hanamaki to the Olympic organizing committee.

A fraction of the cost

Some metropolitan areas have been active in their bids to host Olympic events. The Saitamaken Rowing Association plans to ask the organizing committee to utilize Saiko, a balancing reservoir at the Arakawa riverbed in Toda, Saitama Prefecture, as a venue for the boat and canoe-kayak events.

The officially planned venue, the Sea Forest Waterway, is scheduled to be built at Tokyo Bay’s central breakwater landfill site. However, the construction cost is now expected to swell to about ¥100 billion, approximately 15 times the initial plan. Though the metropolitan government plans to reduce the cost by reviewing the construction method, the rowing association’s director Taku Wada, 69, said: “If Saiko is utilized, the construction will only involve a little drilling. The cost would be less than 10 percent of building the Sea Forest Waterway.” He listed the advantages of the site, saying it was the best place as it is only 20 kilometers from the athletes village and is served by well-developed roads and railway systems.

In the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the canoe sprint was held at Lake Sagami in Kanagawa Prefecture. At a press conference on June 30, Mayor Toshio Kayama said he planned to ask Tokyo Gov. Yoichi Masuzoe to use the lake as the venue for the canoe event. In June, a new section of the Metropolitan Intercity Expressway opened near the lake. Kanagawa Gov. Yuji Kuroiwa also supported the bid, saying, “I want to maximize cooperation [with the city of Sagami] by making the best use of a previous venue for the Tokyo Olympics.”

Distance an issue

Meanwhile, the metropolitan government and the Olympic organizing committee still maintain a cautious stance. According to the International Olympic Committee’s regulations, if a venue is more than 50 kilometers from the athletes village in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, a new village will have to be set up. While the regulation applies to the city of Hanamaki and Lake Sagami, a senior official of the Tokyo government said, “A new village cannot be built outside Tokyo using taxes collected from Tokyo residents.” The idea of establishing separate athletes villages could run counter to the metropolitan government’s announced policy of reviewing the plans to reduce swelling costs.

As a change of venues also requires reconsideration of security and transportation plans, a person involved in the organizing committee said, “It is actually very difficult to change venues for the events, but we will consider the possibilities from various perspectives.”

Yomiuri

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0001444761

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I don't see why they would be concerned about the shooting venue since the one they are planning to use is the one from 1964 and would only require minimal renovations.

The rowing and canoe venue however should be moved if the price is going to swell that much.

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Different location possibly being sought for 2020 para-triathlon

July 30 2014

Japanese news sources are reporting today that 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games organizers are considering seeking a new location for the venue for the Olympic and Paralympic triathlon events that were supposed to be held at Yokohama for running and Odaiba Seaside Park for swimming. The current location has issues with airspace and water quality.

The Yokohama and Odaiba Seaside Park locations have problems with the airspace because it is in the vicinity to the Haneda Airport, which prohibits the ability to film competition using a helicopter. Concerns were initially raised after a triathlon event was held there earlier this year in regards to suitability. There were limitations in the media’s ability to report on it from the air.

Water quality issues have been raised at Odaiba Seaside Park, where the beach is regularly closed to swimming because the quality falls below national standards. The original plans called for Odaiba Seaside Park to be completed by 2016.

Link to this article;http://www.parasport-news.com/different-location-possibly-being-sought-for-2020-para-triathlon/1930/

News source;ParaSports News

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Tokyo govt to review plans for Olympic yacht marinaDTMANAGE.000000020140723170720815-1.jpg?

The Yomiuri Shimbun

The Inage Yacht Harbor is seen from a Yomiuri Shimbun helicopter on July 22.

The Yomiuri Shimbun

The Wakasu Olympic Marina is one of the envisioned new facilities whose construction plans are under review ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, sources have revealed.

Originally planned as the site of the Olympic yacht races, the marina was set to be built in Koto Ward, Tokyo. The metropolitan government now considers Inage Yacht Harbor in Mihama Ward, Chiba, as a leading alternative candidate.

Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics bid detailed metropolitan government plans to build the new marina at a cost of ¥9.2 billion. After Tokyo won the bid, however, the waters near the planned marina site were found to be inside an extended approach zone for Haneda Airport’s Runway D.

This is problematic, according to sources, because sailing races require a helicopter to take photos and shoot video footage. The marina could therefore hinder flights at the airport, causing it to be added to the list of venues subject to review.

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    The Yomiuri Shimbun

Inage Yacht Harbor opened in 1982 with dry slips for 594 yachts and parking for up to 270 cars.

Under the International Olympic Committee’s rules, an additional athletes’ village should be set up if an event venue is located 50 kilometers or more from the main village. This would not be necessary, however, as the distance between the Inage harbor and the planned athletes’ village site in Tokyo’s Harumi district is about 25 kilometers.

The sailing races, however, are scheduled to be held from July 26 to Aug. 8, 2020. During that time frame, roads for exclusive use by athletes and officials, known as Olympic Lanes, must be laid out between the athletes’ village and the venue.

This would worsen traffic conditions on roads along Tokyo Bay, which already see heavy congestion during the summer holidays with vehicles heading for Tokyo Disney Resorts in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture.

Yacht sailing athletes and officials in Japan may also voice opposition because they have sought the construction of a permanent facility in Tokyo for quite some time.

The metropolitan government will coordinate the review while consulting with relevant sports federation officials at home and abroad.

It has already begun to consider the review of the plans for three other facilities, including the venue for volleyball and badminton, which may be held in an existing facility instead of having a new one constructed.

The metropolitan government said it will not rule out any possibilities in reviewing its plans.

According to sources, the metropolitan government planned to build 10 new sports facilities. The facilities among them to be reviewed include the sailing venue, the Seaside Park Hockey Stadium (Oi Hockey Stadium) in Shinagawa Ward and Yumenoshima Park Archery Field in Koto Ward.

Among the temporary facilities to be built, which are being handled by the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the relocation of the Ariake Velodrome in Koto Ward is being considered. The Velodrome was to house the cycling race tracks.

It was once proposed that the hockey venue be moved to Komazawa Olympic Park in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, and the archery venue to be relocated to a baseball park in Oi Futo pier.

But a senior official of the organizing committee said, “Reviewing them has little merit and the IOC may point out that the options violate the promises made in the bid.” The two relocation proposals are therefore unlikely to be implemented.

The Izu Velodrome in Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, was tentatively chosen to accommodate the cycling track races, but the venue sits outside of the 50 kilometer-range from the main athletes’ village.

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0001445616

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  • 4 weeks later...

The Tokyo metropolitan government will consider using existing facilities as competition venues for badminton, basketball and sailing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, a change from its plan to create new ones, according to an outline of its latest venue plan obtained on Thursday by Kyodo News.

The outline of plans for 10 facilities show the Tokyo metropolitan government seeks to reduce the amount of new construction for the event given rising costs in the booming construction industry.

However, the Tokyo government also plans to continue considering building new facilities for those three sports, according to the outline.

For the kayak and rowing events, it will build a water sports arena in Tokyo Bay but consider cutting expenses by changing the layout. The facility could be used after the big event as there is no existing facility suitable for those events, the outline showed.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/kyodo-news-international/140828/tokyo-may-use-existing-facilities-some-sports-2020-oly

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There appears to be quite a lot of post-decision reviewing of the venue plans. I know a lot of cities make some adjustments once their bid plans become grounded with reality, but there seems to be ALOT of adjustments coming from Tokyo. Is it usually to this extent? I don't quite recall London veering of course like this.

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There appears to be quite a lot of post-decision reviewing of the venue plans. I know a lot of cities make some adjustments once their bid plans become grounded with reality, but there seems to be ALOT of adjustments coming from Tokyo. Is it usually to this extent? I don't quite recall London veering of course like this.

London, for it's part, did have a fair share of adjustments.

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its just for a few venues whose cost has soared. The basketball/badminton events were supposed to be held on reclaimed land in a venue called the Youth Plaza but costs are rising, along with the needs to create breakwater somethings for the rowing/canoe course that is raising costs and the relocation of the slalom from a park to other land owned by the government. Together it's not a whole lot given that they're trying to make the games economical and possibly lessening the stigma that hosting the games required tens of billion just for venues alone.

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its just for a few venues whose cost has soared. The basketball/badminton events were supposed to be held on reclaimed land in a venue called the Youth Plaza but costs are rising, along with the needs to create breakwater somethings for the rowing/canoe course that is raising costs and the relocation of the slalom from a park to other land owned by the government. Together it's not a whole lot given that they're trying to make the games economical and possibly lessening the stigma that hosting the games required tens of billion just for venues alone.

Fair enough, but some of this must havd been known during the bid process already, no? Obviously, govt owned land is cheaper to use than private property when the govt supports it. And reclaiming land is always an expensive thing to do.

If the major asset of the bid was the compactness, this seems to fall apart a bit by now and it could again create the impression that the IOC is easily swayed by more fancy plans rather than realistic ones. Given the 2020 race, Tokyo probably would have won anyway, but a more honest bid would have seemed possible, I guess.

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Fair enough, but some of this must havd been known during the bid process already, no? Obviously, govt owned land is cheaper to use than private property when the govt supports it. And reclaiming land is always an expensive thing to do.

If the major asset of the bid was the compactness, this seems to fall apart a bit by now and it could again create the impression that the IOC is easily swayed by more fancy plans rather than realistic ones. Given the 2020 race, Tokyo probably would have won anyway, but a more honest bid would have seemed possible, I guess.

this article says that construction costs have rised ever since the earthquake due to reconstruction efforts around the nation (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/11/us-olympics-japan-idUSKBN0EM0QB20140611) so i think the rates that they were based on in the bid books and all were expected to rise after the fact but not as much as they did after Tokyo won the bid. When they did, contractors that owned land near the bay that were building condos saw hige spikes in revenue because people wanted to be closer to the action or something.

Its just kinda like they knew it was gonna rise and were prepared, but when the prices jumped all of the sudden they were in a tough spot to keep things economican and compact at the same time.

economican

economical B)

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There appears to be quite a lot of post-decision reviewing of the venue plans. I know a lot of cities make some adjustments once their bid plans become grounded with reality, but there seems to be ALOT of adjustments coming from Tokyo. Is it usually to this extent? I don't quite recall London veering of course like this.

They're not veering "off course." They're consciously changing the course, which is a different thing. I'm not going to fault them for thinking through the best solution for each need. It's early and they have time to weigh options. If they can come up with a more feasible plan than the one presented in their bid and the IOC and IFs will sign off on it, then they shouldn't have any hesitation about alternative approaches.

And, yes, London did have its share of changes, as most hosts do. Frankly, I'm encouraged that the Japanese are taking their time to plan thoroughly. I didn't expect any less of them, but I do believe this method will ultimately result in well-thought out Olympic Games.

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  • 1 month later...

Arup takes advisory role in Tokyo 2020 planning

Arup has been awarded a key advisory role for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The consultant and engineer has been appointed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to advise in the development on venues and infrastructure for the Games. It will also review the masterplan for the event and work with Aecom on venue briefs and the planning of preparation phases and legacy transformation.

Jerome Frost, an Arup director and the head of design and regeneration for London 2012, said: "Arup is proud to have played a part in renewing Beijing and London in advance of the Olympics and is looking forward to continuing our contribution to the 2020 Tokyo Games.

"Through our experience in preparing cities for the Olympics and other international events, the firm has been responsible for much of the urban renewal of the host cities, ensuring the events serve as a catalyst for long-term investment and development."

Aecom head of global sports Bill Hanway added: "Aecom's breadth of experience and passion for delivering world sporting events has seen us work with cities across the world, from bid through to legacy. We are proud of our work that delivers both a successful event while helping to position sport as a catalyst for wider urban regeneration and development. We are incredibly honoured to be part of three consecutive Games, especially the opportunity to continue this work as part of the Tokyo 2020 team and to deliver a truly amazing event."

http://www.sportspromedia.com/news/arup_takes_advisory_role_in_tokyo_2020_planning

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Tokyo lays plans to scale down Olympic venues once games are over
  • Nov 12, 2014

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government plans to scale down facilities for the 2020 Summer Games once the sports extravaganza is over, drawing a lesson from London’s post-Olympic management.

After the London hosted the Olympics in 2012, some venues were converted to accommodate a smaller number of spectators.

In March, the newly refurbished and converted Aquatics Center opened in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with a total seating capacity of 2,500, reduced from 17,500 for the Olympics.

Since its opening, about 500,000 people have visited the facility, which now offers activities such as lane swimming and diving.

When a Kyodo reporter visited the center on the evening of Oct. 30, several dozen people were in the water and the seating space was packed with spectators.

Peter Tudor, director of venues for London Legacy Development Corp., which is involved in managing the Olympic facilities, said that keeping the maintenance cost down has been a top priority under an urban renewal project.

The main venue, Olympic Stadium, is currently undergoing a major renovation in which its seating capacity is shrinking to 54,000 from 80,000.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government said that its Olympic Aquatics Center in the Yumenoshima district in Koto Ward, designed to accommodate 20,000 spectators during the Olympics, will similarly be scaled down to a seating capacity of 5,000.

The center will host swimming, synchronized swimming and diving during the Olympics. It will cover 57,850 sq. meters, which will be reduced to 32,920 sq. meters afterward.

The facility will be redesigned so it can still host international events but will also serve as a training center and a public swimming pool.

The Seaside Park Hockey Stadium to be built in the Oi district in Shinagawa Ward with a seating capacity of 15,000 will be shrunk to accommodate 4,000 spectators.

The idea behind scaling down the Olympic facilities is based on the fear that such venues would be underused and that the cost of maintaining and operating them in their original size would be enormous.

That was the case with The Spiral, the track used for the bobsled and luge competitions at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. It cost ¥10.1 billion to build, and the electricity costs for keeping the track frozen runs to ¥200 million a year, while its annual revenue stands at a meager ¥7 million.

Yoshiyuki Mano, a professor in Waseda University’s sports science department, points out that the “operating expenses (for Olympic facilities) are generally twice as high as the construction cost.”

“Olympic facilities should be designed with use after the event in mind, and their size should be decided after considering if the investment will pay off in the long run,” he said.

Kyodo

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/11/12/national/tokyo-lays-plans-to-scale-down-olympic-venues-once-games-are-over/#.VGMuLslBcsN

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Tokyo could feasibly (with the halting of the Olympic stadium tear down) host 2016. The point is though that the International Federations pretty much demand huge capacity venues. Yes Tokyo has 30 million people - however that does not mean they need a 15,000 seat hockey venue or a 15,000 seat swimming venue. The Japanese are very good at some sports and have multi-purpose venues all over the country. Not necesarily three dozen in the one city. The Japanese are many things - fiscally irresponsible is not one of them.

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