olympics

Japan scaling down 2020 Olympic stadium after criticism of cost

44 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

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44 Comments
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Surely Tokyo has enough existing stadiums without robbing us taxpayers for a new one just for the Olympics.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Although I do agree they need to be fiscally responsible, the original stadium that was proposed is beautiful.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I'm not a big sports fan, and I hate how the olympics "forces" these massive costs of building on people. What I do like is in recent times, these olympic stadiums look more and more sci-fi, and I think it contributes to helping the science of engineering and building forward a little.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

What's wrong with Tokyo's present Olympic Stadium?

1 ( +11 / -10 )

I'm guessing you've never been. It's decrepit, needs a complete overhaul and would potentially fail any number of safety laws elsewhere.

Tokyo clearly needs a new stadium but obviously one that is within a reasonable budget.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

This article doesn't mention that the Stadium was already set for upgrades for the Rugby WC in 2019 with a budget of $1 billion. That was decided back a few years ago.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

What's wrong with Tokyo's present Olympic Stadium?

Uhhh...its 50 years old? We would be a laughing stock if we used the same stadium we used 50 years ago. The Olympics are about showing off. Not only are the athletes competing, but our country is competing for the best Olympic presentation. Rehashing a stadium that is a half a century old would be ridiculous. If we are going to do it, lets do it right!

As far as the size, 80,000 would be a good size. And is it just me, but the design for the new stadium look AWESOME!

6 ( +15 / -9 )

I agree with Hayashi san, the rendering looks awesome. Tokyo is not about subtlety, it's often the inspiration for futuristic megacities. If they were trying to stick it in Kyoto or something, that would be different.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Mirai HayashiOct. 25, 2013 - 08:26AM JST

What's wrong with Tokyo's present Olympic Stadium?

Uhhh...its 50 years old? We would be a laughing stock if we used the same stadium we used 50 years ago.

.... you sound precisely like a spoiled little rich girl complaining that she simply CAN'T be seen in the same dress twice.

The original Olympics were held on the same dusty field in Greece for ages, and no-one cared because it was about the sports. Sadly the Olympics is no longer about sports, its about politics.

13 ( +21 / -8 )

Frungy, just go to the current stadium. Have a walk around it. Sit on the uncovered benches. Visit the toilets and then think why is the Olympics not going to be held here?

And the answer is because it's 50 years old and little, if any improvement have been done since they were held in 1964.

It's simply not suitable.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

the bike helmet!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Uhhh...its 50 years old? We would be a laughing stock if we used the same stadium we used 50 years ago.

LA used their old Olympic stadium when they held the games back in the 80's and it was around 50 years old at the time and they managed to make a profit after the failure to make one for Montreal in 1976. The rest of the venues can be new, but why build another major stadium for basically 2 major events, and the track and field events? It was mentioned that it would be used in 2019 for the Rugby WC. I doubt that it will be ready by then but if it is, it will be a "used" stadium so why not just refurbish the older one.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Repair the 50 something year old stadium, and name the Olympics "Recycling Olympics". Or we can make a huge balloon stadium inflatable.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I am with tina, and I am amazed that they could not find a Japanese architect to design the Japanese Olympic stadium. Perhaps that is part of the reason why a group of Japanese architects are complaining about the current proposal.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I just like how the whole design is being scraped AFTER they won the bid. Everything is fine and dandy before, only after, does it all come to light. Gotta wonder if they would have won the bid if they had said beforehand.. "Yeah.. we're not really going to make the stadium we're showing you.. hell, we don't even know what we'll do., but come to Tokyo anyways!"

10 ( +11 / -1 )

IMHO...

the fact most of that budget was approved already for the RWC in 2019, THEN Japan won the Olympics, counts it still sounds like stupid amount of money the world has changed & will continue to change at a faster & faster pace over the 6-7 years until them; all 'Humans' need to stop spending & consuming at such levels. It's never been 'sustainable', but for the love of {insert your deity or superstition}, the chickens are coming home to roost in the lifetimes of most people reading this & our children. Japan has changed, she has higher priorities & must be much more frugal; hello, Fukushima? clearly they can't use the old one is, but somewhere between massive refurbish & razing it to the ground to start from scratch for the Billions proposed is just as clearly possible
4 ( +5 / -1 )

Although not Tokyo they should just use the Saitama super Arena, it already can hold like 75,000 people.

I can't see how this is going to work, the trains here are massively overpacked, the roads are blocked and this statidum is being build with the closest station being on the tiny Ginza line.

How do they expect people to get there? It's going to be train, human, car gridlock.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Assuming it's going to be the same location as the current one then there's a number of options that are within a 10-15 minute walk of the station including JR and Oedo. Transport issues shouldn't be anywhere near the problem that they have been for previous major sporting events.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"It's under control!" I can't wait for the J-Olympic committee to start funneling Tohoku funds into the construction.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I also wonder, if the change needs to be approved by the IOC. They won the bid with the old design and I wonder if they just can change it after. Also the other candidate cities could complain. Another thing, the Tokyo 2020 games will be the hottest in Olympic history. The schedule is from July 29th till August 15th. Everyone who lives in Japan knows what this means. Temperatures around 35C, + extreme humid conditions. There is a reason why the Tokyo Marathon is held in February. J-League has all games in the evening during this time for a reason.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Uhhh...its 50 years old?

The Olympic stadium in Los Angeles was much older when it was used a second time for the 1984 games.

Los Angeles built almost no facilities for their Olympics, and instead used and borrowed existing facilities. The only notable thing built was the Olympic Village, which was composed of temporary structures (the games are only a few days) and cost little to build. Many of the events, like Judo, Boxing, etc. were held at the Anaheim convention center, universities supplied other venues.

The 1984 games were a great success, and an economic boon to the city, but only because the project was handled very economically. Later Olympics (Athens, Barcelona) were expensive, money-losing ventures which hurt their host countries more than they helped them.

Since the Olympic committee has abandoned amateur competition and nowallows direct sponsorship, charging "official" sponsor as much as $100,000,000 each to display their banners at the games, perhaps they should be shouldering more ofthe cost.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

.... you sound precisely like a spoiled little rich girl complaining that she simply CAN'T be seen in the same dress twice.

Well you sound like her stingy rich mother who wants her daughter to wear the same crusty smelly prom dress she wore in the 60's when she was in high school just to save a buck.

Japan is the mecca of technology. The world is looking to us to give an over the top presentation that'll put China and London to shame. If we do it in a leaky 50 year old building, it would be silly.

Besides, the stadium is not just a one time thing. It could be used for decades going forward to host many world competitions, so it would be great investment for Tokyo.

I just like how the whole design is being scraped AFTER they won the bid

I hope they keep the design, just make it slightly smaller. But yeah, bait and switch, never a good idea.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

Waste. Nothing more.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Anyone who asks why they can't use the old stadium doesn't have a clue. If you'd been there, you'd know why. It's old and shabby.

Also, they whole thing about hosting the Olympics now is about showing off. If the main stadium isn't new and sparkly, you're not showing off enough.

I couldn't care less if they used to old stadium, or built a new one.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan is the mecca of technology.

@Mirai Hayashi--Yeah, hand-held technology and vehicles. Not architecture.

It need not be the old Olympic stadium. I don't care what it is so long as it does not carry a ONE BILLION US DOLLAR price tag. That is absolutely outrageous. Its obviously an attempt by some people to get gobsmacking rich cause there is no way such a price tag can be justified for one sports venue. Not a chance.

And not MY tax yen.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Renovate the old stadium, give a futuristic Japanese look. More eco friendly.... Save money an show to the world this is the most cost effective Olympics of all time... Then In the future more countries will ask for the new tech from Japan. Japan will benefit for decades...and the people of Japan also.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Renovating the old stadium can cost more than building a new stadium.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I wonder what the IOC thinks of this decision. I'm sure this wasn't part of the deal when Tokyo won the 2020 bid. Broken promises barely months after the bid was won... Not a good start.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

To me, this design is scary. It may useful to scare away any invaders from space.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I think its gorgeous...its exactly what Tokyo need to remodernize its landscape.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The Olympic stadium in Los Angeles was much older when it was used a second time for the 1984 games. >

Comparing the LA stadium to the old Olympic stadium in Tokyo is a misleading comparison.

The IOC have a minimum seating requirement for the main stadium, which I believe is currently 80,000, I stand to be corrected though. Los Angeles Memorial Colloseum is huge, even after it was scaled down in size, it still has a capacity of over 90,000, thus easily meeting the IOC minimium seating requirement. The old Olympic stadium in Tokyo had a capacity of about 57,000, currently only 48,000 seated capacity.

As someone mentioned earlier, refurbishing an existing stadium can quite often cost as much or even more than building a new one, especially if increased capacity is required.

I have no problem with them scaling back the initial proposal as it's been stated that the design concept won't be changed, the article didn't give any specifics, but on large scale projects like this there can always be unnecessary extravagances trimmed to save on overall costs. A block of toilets here, a concourse there, fewer VIP boxes etc....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

He also said the new stadium will still have all the basic features needed to host the Olympics

I would hope so!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Tokyo does not need remodernization. If anything, need de-modernization like the one, classic beautiful Tokyo station, or take down the highway above the beautiful Nihonbashi bridge, or recognize the lifestyle of Edo period, etc.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Tokyo does not need remodernization. If anything, need de-modernization like the one, classic beautiful Tokyo station, or take down the highway above the beautiful Nihonbashi bridge, or recognize the lifestyle of Edo period, etc.

ummmmmm....Tina dear, to restore a classic old beautiful building such as Tokyo Station costs astronomical amounts of money. Only a a very small number of buildings can be restored and brought up to earthquake code strength. Theres just not enough money to do such projects on a large scale. As fanciful and romantic as it might be to dream of the Edo and other periods of yesteryear, it just isn't practical in this day in age to try to emulate those times. Tokyo is on top of a seismically active plain. Let's never forget what happened to thousands of buildings in the immediate after effect of the Great Kanto earthwquake. I do agree though that the highway above Nihonbashi is an eyesore.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wow, things are really changing here if the cost of major public projects is coming under genuine scrutiny... I suspect other motives for the chorus of disapproval, however.

I think the original design was fine and really impressive... they are probably going to waste / lose billions on the Olympics anyway, then burn the records of where it all went, just like Nagano did. "Accidentally" of course.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And not MY tax yen.

Are you living in Japan? I don't think so... So why are you writing 'my yens'? Remodeling the old stadium is much cheaper than building a new one from the scratch. And Tokyo isn't poor city. Actually, it's budget is around as big as countries like Switzerland. If there are cities which are wealthy enough around the world then yes, Tokyo is surely the one which can host Olympic Games.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

heda madness:

" Frungy, just go to the current stadium. Have a walk around it. Sit on the uncovered benches. Visit the toilets and then think why is the Olympics not going to be held here? And the answer is because it's 50 years old and little, if any improvement have been done since they were held in 1964. "

That is it? Benches and toilets? And they can not be refurbished why? Why is it so terrible to use the same building for more than 50 years? In fact, would it not be admirable if Japan showed that you can keep old structures maintained, instead of pouring ever more concrete over the country?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Timtak. Such projects are open to international competition.That particular Architect is world renowned,but this particular design is not suitable for the area,so I am told.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Renovating the one side of Tokyo Station cost ¥50 billion. Certainly it would be better to rebuild the old stadium completely than trying to renovate and expand the capacity to the necessary 80,000. Seeing how often the old stadium is used now, certainly the new one would be used even more. At least it's not gonna be a white elephant like the Bird's Nest in Beijing

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What is the 2020 Olympics without China and South Korea participating? A domestic affair?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That is it? Benches and toilets? And they can not be refurbished why? Why is it so terrible to use the same building for more than 50 years? In fact, would it not be admirable if Japan showed that you can keep old structures maintained, instead of pouring ever more concrete over the country?

I'm actually surprised I'm bothering to respond. What are you suggesting? They replace the benches with seats? Give the toilets a once over? And plonk an extra 25000 seats in a corner they previously used for rubbish storage. They need to find more room. More room requires better supports. Better supports requires better foundations and better structures. More seats also requires more toilets. More food stalls. More of everthing. There's a reason many of the world's stadiums, including Wembley in England, have been rebuilt. And it's not a desire to pour more concrete

1 ( +2 / -1 )

We would be a laughing stock if we used the same stadium we used 50 years ago.

Mirai, I suggest you avoid watching the World Series, because half the games are being played in a stadium that's twice that old. And, as every baseball fan knows, Fenway Park is far from a "laughing stock"; it's universally acknowledged as one of the two (along with Chicago's Wrigley Field, which will turn 100 next year) most beautiful and historic ballparks in any major sport.

(Want to stay closer to home? Visit Koshien, home of the Hanshin Tigers. Built in 1924 (甲子の年, the year of the wood rat). Still the greatest. Imagine an Olympic baseball game being played there!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan has accomplished a lot in constructing infrastructure in the past decades. Hosting the Olympic games provides a lot of work for the construction industry. Work at inflated prices. Prices someone has to pay. Who? You answer it. Visitors from all over the world will come to Japan and see the facilities, the venues, the accommodation and the high technology standards. What most of them don't see is the poor city planning a short distance away, the haphazard location of housing and industrial plants and workshops, [what is the purpose of the city planning tax we pay?] the lack of proper roads providing a safe passage to motor traffic, cyclists and pedestrians alike, the flimsy, paper thin road surfacing that puts an advanced nation to shame. We all are going to pay more tax. To fund the aging society. Is that really where the money is going to go?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Keep up the hard work, Japan!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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