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Tokyo Olympics legacy venue proving a chronic headache

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Just another list of item that taxpayer need to pay.

20 ( +26 / -6 )

This building has lots of wooden elements that need to be regularly replaced and maintained. It's going to cost the future owner a fortune. Maybe better to tear it down and in its place, create a park with grass and lots of trees.

the lack of a concrete plan for the venue's future use

That sums up Olympics planning. The promoters have myopia. They don't care about future consequences.

26 ( +30 / -4 )

That was a well thought out plan? Again.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

The whole thing, from the location to the change of plans, seems specially done to make selling the stadium more difficult and lose money. A cynical person would think this is not just serious incompetence but done on purpose maybe to benefit a future buyer with a really low selling price.

17 ( +23 / -6 )

Japan still owes money to a foreign company which designed the initial stadium for the Olympics.

15 ( +20 / -5 )

No surprises there. It is a commonly known fact that Olympic venues are quite often abandoned once their primary function has been fulfilled.

24 ( +25 / -1 )

Japan's National Stadium has become a taxpayer burden with its future in limbo.

Yes, one of Abe's contributions to Japanese society.

Thank you Abe-san. (Sarcasm)

22 ( +26 / -4 )

All the issues mentioned here were known in advance and have been experienced before in Japan itself.

Any sensible feasibility study would have indicated how unrealistic the fantasy plans of repurposing the stadium were. Everyone who understands the situation knows that events and concerts merely steal trade from other stadia who need it.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

They knew from the very start that they were building a bunch of white elephants.... They lied about privatization, the cost of construction, profitability and use legacy...

Just like every other Olympic bid in history.

21 ( +22 / -1 )

Wow. Shocking. Not. This was easy to see coming.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Reminds me of the "Big O" (or Big Owe) left after the Montreal Olympics. Stadium ended up costing tax payers $1.5 billion over 30 years to pay off, not including $250 million they just spent on a new roof. Talk about a white elephant.

For security reasons, the stadium's detailed plans could not be disclosed to interested businesses. Because of that, the privatization project was put off until after the Olympics.

While that might be true, it just sounds so politically convenient for the organizing committee not to have a plan in place. Where they worried terrorists would be able to find out where the washrooms were ahead of time to hide their explosives? Give me a break.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Bureaucracy at its finest.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

"There is concern this legacy will be a loss-making inheritance," said Renho, a senior member of the opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan.

With the Olympics as with all the other LDP pork projects, J.Gov knew from the start it would be the gift that keeps on giving. For themselves that would be.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Disgusting. People should be held accountable. Like criminals, the Olympic committee and politicians involved should go to jail and face heavy fines and penalties to their private and business income to discourage this sort of thing happening.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

The annual price tag for maintenance, administration and large-scale repairs for the stadium, completed in November 2019, add up to 2.4 billion yen ($18.8 million).

Aaaah, the Tokyo Olympigs, the "gift" that never stops taking (tax-payers' money).

Reminds me of China's "Bird's Nest" stadium which annual running maintenance expenses vs its lack of appeal to sports federations (reason being that it is considered to "be too big to fill", hence games ending up playing in what is expected to be at best a half-empty stadium).

The venue for canoe and rowing, Tokyo Bay's Sea Forest Waterway, was opened for general public use on April 29. In the current fiscal year, it plans to host 70 events for people to experience water sports, and 150 fitness events.

Saw a news piece about that one when the Oympigs were over. (Think it was courtesy of TBS). The piece was about what ridiculous amounts were spent on nonsense during the games. There were interviews of people with their faces hidden and voices electronically deformed: they looked like witnesses in a mob-trial! What they said was damning beyond words! Anyway, back to the article.

As the facility is using sea water, do the regular maintenance cost cost a fortune.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Forest_Waterway

In January 2021, it was reported that oysters were attaching themselves to the floats used to suppress waves in the venue, resulting in 140 million yen (US$1.3 million) in costs to remove them.[2]

Here is the link from the article Wiki is referring to. It is even more damning than what Wiki hints at.

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2021/01/ba50e82d7a2c-olympics-oysters-making-costly-waves-at-tokyo-bay-rowing-venue.html

During the news piece, did they interview the company owner / specialist hired to deal with the issue. (While most likely happy to have constant source of revenue), he (showing his face) was more than clear that this was a ridiculous problem that should have been clear to everybody from the beginning onwards. TBH, he literally looked ashamed to be making money from it! I think they also interview an architect who confirmed that this problem should have been understood from the very beginning...hinting that not doing so would be akin to incompetence.

A spokesman said the park's expansive views along the bayside are a drawing card, and that the facility looks to host a wide range of activities, including musical events.

Tut tut! Not so fast, buster. This was also covered by the TV piece.

If there is a downside, it is access. There is no commercial complex or train station nearby. And though the facility itself appears ideal for various water activities and barbeques by the bay, the scarcity of other options nearby may limit its appeal.

Exactly! There exist already much more attractive locations in this regard. Heck, they existed before they build this nonsense facility. The TV piece was also pretty clear that this...

The venue for canoe and rowing, Tokyo Bay's Sea Forest Waterway, was opened for general public use on April 29. In the current fiscal year, it plans to host 70 events for people to experience water sports, and 150 fitness events.

...which was the J-gov's stated "vision", said "vision" bumping into the reality of the related federations and associations of said practitioner of sports which stated they were not looking at this facility because of what this article euphemistically calls "a downside".

The TV piece left you thinking that instead of putting more and more funds into an impractical, hence "useless" facility it wouldn't make more sense to...raze it and be done with one single payment over dragging it for years paying a yearly ridiculous amount for seagulls to use it as a place to fish and poop...

Me thinks this is the tip of the iceberg and that pretty much every facility related to the games leaves us with the same money-losing "legacy".

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Yet this white elephant will be soon forgotten as they plow on with bidding for the Winter games in Sapporo.

They will use Dents to put a positive spin on everything a compliant media will go along with them.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

This is typical of almost every ending story of the Olympics, once these cities are awarded the games, they spend billions building these stadiums and other venues that takes a few years and thousands of hours and man power to construct and once the event is over, they immediately start to lose money and go in the red and these venues for the most part never recover and they become empty relics of wasted money that took years to build and ultimately be used for just two weeks and the sad part is, this won’t be the last time this happens.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It is sounding more and More like the fiasco that veas the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

Massively over budget, graft on top of graft, it will take decades to pay off the debt and not a big Japanese version of the Montreal Olympic stadium white elephant, doing nothing cost more and no one wants it.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

As if they didn’t know!

how many countries have held the Olympics in the past?! Now they complain. Might be better to rip the thing down.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Sapporo, I hope you are paying attention.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The annual price tag for maintenance, administration and large-scale repairs for the stadium, completed in November 2019, add up to 2.4 billion yen ($18.8 million).

Easy way to solve this problem? Take the money out of the pay of the politicians and other elite who forced these games upon Japan. Most of all, the money should be taken from the estate of Ishihara Shintaro--he is the one who started this fiasco.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Most Olympic host countries go through this same thing with their stadiums and athlete accommodation. They never get their money back and the Olympics end up costing the country tens of millions. Nothing unusual to see here. Move along!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

All the comments about LDP incompetence and waste of money on this and other sports elephants are spot on...oh well, some politician,s relatives with a construction & building maintenance companies are very happy though.

Now...let's all get on board the Sapporo Olympic bid and fully support it because THOSE Olympic games will be different and low cost. The organizers & J-govt told us so it will undoubtedly be the case. And as always don't forget to vote LDP at the next election. Yoroshiku.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The only LEGACY will be a stadium left to rot because there will be no money to maintain it nor anyone who wants it, same as the Brazilian and some other...

https://www.businessinsider.com/abandoned-olympic-venues-around-the-world-photos-rio-2016-8

https://www.usatoday.com/picture-gallery/sports/olympics/2021/07/22/abandoned-olympic-venues-around-world/8063114002/

3 ( +3 / -0 )

For security reasons, the stadium's detailed plans could not be disclosed to interested businesses. 

I have a set of the stadium's detailed plans that local residents received showing Zaha's competition-winning entry. In accordance with the competition conditions, this had 85,000 seats and a retractable roof, because the stadium's business plan called for big-name concerts. It also included public spaces with retail and restaurants. We did not get anything about the revised plan, but the public were shown images, so we knew the roof was replaced by a canopy over the seating. We were not told that seating capacity had been reduced to less than the old stadium from 50 years ago, nor that the canopy cost was not included in the new revised price. I believe the quoted line should read as follows:

For political reasons, the stadium's detailed plans could not be disclosed to the public because they would show lower seat numbers. There were no interested businesses. 

and

Also part of the equation is the stadium's limited value as a concert venue, because they would have to cancel events when it rains. The operators had no concerns for its surrounding neighborhood.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Athletics track stadiums suck as venues for soccer - the fans are removed by 20m at the sides and at least 40m at the ends, making it harder to see the action and damaging the atmosphere. I prefer stadiums that are explicitly designed for ball games, with fans close to the action.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japanese Lesson of the Day:

Question- How do you say "White Elephant Project" in Japanese?

Answer: "東京 2020 オリンピック" (Tōkyō Nii Zero Nii Zero Orinpikku)

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Too bad these kind of events aren’t set up like circuses, built up, taken down, and leave town. Never made sense to me why so much money is spent on a permanent moneypit that has no other purpose.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Perfect example of why Japan needs to think and think once more before they consider holding the Sapporo Olympics.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The old stadium was rather a nice design. I suppose it cost a lot to knock it down. It would have been so much better to have used that. After all, it was already built. If not big enough, some smaller additional places could have been built for some events.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

In space starved Japan these stadiums become mini deserts.

How about gaoling those that had their hand in the construction and planning for crimes against the environment?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

When they aren't using the facility for live events and sports, maybe they can modify it for use as a flying car airport. I believe the UK just built the world's first vertiport and its a matter of time before other cities follow suit.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In Japan's defense, Japan just got hit by the pandemic tornado that completely derailed the Olympics. Japan was unable to make back any of the money from all the revenue of the Olympics and all the foreigners traveling to Japan to watch the Olympics.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Yes, one of Abe's contributions to Japanese society.

The Japanese organizers submitted their bid before Abe came to power. Those mostly responsible were in the metropolitan govt., like Ishihara.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Make it a mandatory tourist destination!!!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So, they should have cancelled it

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The old stadium was rather a nice design. 

True, and well used, but it was rather old. This meant, besides wanting more seats and a roof:

it was not equipped for modern broadcast requirements - lighting, sound system, camera positions;

it did not meet modern requirements for fire exits or disabled access - seating and steps were uneven or too steep - a big disadvantage when you are hoping to host an event called the Paralympics;

it lacked the public access spaces with retail and restaurants that are part of a modern venue's business plan.

But, the old stadium did have an Olympic Cauldron you could light up during rock concerts, something the post-Zaha design forgot .....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Another city scammed by the Olympics...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thanks you this information: "In January 2021, it was reported that oysters were attaching themselves to the floats used to suppress waves in the venue, resulting in 140 million yen (US$1.3 million) in costs to remove them."

Tokyo should get into raising oysters. That is likely the best the Olympic ruins are going to get. Maybe they'll get peals.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Everything to do with the Olympics has been affected by Covid and the restrictions imposed in response to it, which are still on-going in Japan.

Retractable seating allows fans to be closer to football, whilst retaining the running track in such a stadium. It cost about £200m to convert the London Olympic stadium.

Lower-cost light rail services can be used to get people to specific venues. Over time, development accumulates along rail routes, and being near a station in Japan jacks up the value of land.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow, no one saw this coming! But let's instead forget about it and talk about why Sapporo will of course be "cheap and compact", like Tokyo... ummm.... promised and lied about.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

oh, how surprising.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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