Tokyo 2020 venues: a nightmare of uncertain future and multi-million dollar taxpayer bills

The venues built for the Tokyo Games leave multimillion-dollar bills and questions about their future usefulness in a city that already had world-class facilities, and after having hosted competitions with empty stands .

Tokyo 2020 was unlucky enough to be hit by the pandemic, forcing a disruption the initial plans regarding dates and use of their venues and the budget shot up to 15. 400 million dollars (about 12.950 millions of euros) due to delay costs and anticovid measures – 19 .

But before the pandemic broke out, there was already debate in Japan about whether it was really necessary to raise pharaonic stadiums at the price that this entails and in a city that had promised cheap and compact Games, but that are on the way to becoming the most expensive in history.

The Olympic Stadium, on the way to privatization The new Tokyo Olympic Stadium was completed at the end of 2019, and according to the plan of the Tokyo Government and the organization, it will be privatized after the Games to get economic performance by hosting sports competitions or concerts.

The coliseum is currently owned by the Japan Sports Council consortium, made up of different Japanese public entities, and it was foreseen that its rights to exploitation were put up for auction and passed into the hands of a company in the fall of 2020, plans that were postponed with the delay of the Games.

The idea was that the stadium, with capacity for 60. 000 people, outside renovated after the summer to increase its capacity to A maximum of 80. 000 viewers and that it will remain available for commercial use since 2022.

But with the delay of one year of the Games, this plan was left in the air, with the consequent loss of expected revenue for the public coffers plus the added cost of maintaining the stadium until its privatization can be completed.

The main venue of the Tokyo Olympics has cost 156. 900 million yen (1 . 400 million euros / 1. 410 million dollars), and its maintenance amounts to 2. 400 million yen annual (20 million euros / 21 million dollars) that will have to be assumed by the organizers.

Su potential to host mass sporting or cultural events with full capacity is also unknown in the current con text of restrictions on this type of acts due to the pandemic, and after having hosted the Games competitions and the opening and closing ceremonies behind closed doors.

From gymnastics to music Another of the most iconic new stadiums built for Tokyo 2020 is the Ariake Arena , home of volleyball and wheelchair basketball, and that after the Games will be used as a sports and cultural center with capacity for 15. 000 spectators.

The Ariake Gymnastics Center, also located in the Tokyo Bay area, will be converted into an auditorium for concerts and other events with 12. 000 seats.

The artificial islands in the bay are the area of the capital that has changed the most due to the Games, which will leave other facilities for public use such as the skate parks , in addition to a huge real estate explosion, with the construction of new housing complexes such as those that have been used as residence of athletes in the Olympic Village.

In the same area is located the Tokyo Aquatic Center, headquarters that will host domestic and international swimming competitions after the Games and equipped with 15. 000 seats, which will be reduced to 5. 000 after the Olympic event.

The center has two Olympic swimming pools and another jumps and will also be available for use by citizens.

About 300 meters from the imposing new building is another world-class swimming complex, that of Tatsumi, which has served as the venue for water polo during the Games and which also has two swimming pools of 50 meters and a

The hosts contemplated using it as the venue for all water sports during Tokyo 2020 but scrapped it because did not have enough capacity, and they decided to spend 56. 700 million yen (437 million euros / 514 million dollars) to build a new center that in the end hosted the competitions with empty stands.

An underused inheritance Had they known that the pandemic was coming, the hosts could have saved these monumental costs that will ultimately fall on the taxpayers’ pocket, and having used more venues from the so-called “heritage zone” of the Tokyo Games of 1964.

Among them are the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium or the Yoyogi National Stadium, facilities that have hosted Olympic competitions such as handball or table tennis, and which are in perfect condition after having been renovated and are part of the wide range of public access sports centers that the Tokyoites already enjoyed before these Games.


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