Lower Cost Stadium
Japanese cabinet ministers have lowered the cap on the cost of the stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. They scrapped the original plan amid criticism of a skyrocketing budget. Now they say it'll be 40 percent cheaper.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said they limited the function of the new stadium to what's needed for the competitions. They also considered what's best for the athletes and what would suit a main stadium for the Olympics.
Cabinet ministers endorsed the cap that limits construction costs to about $1.3 billion.
There will be 68,000 seats for the Games. They can be increased to 80,000 if necessary, for a World Cup soccer match. Now the roof will only cover the upper seats. A warmup track will also be built within walking distance of the stadium.
Construction fees for the stadium had to be reviewed a number of times. In July 2012, the Japan Sport Council referred to application guidelines for the stadium's international design competition.
They stated that the cost should be about a billion dollars. But a year later, an estimate said that it would be about $2.8 billion. That was if the design used every detail and incorporated the requests of all competitive sports bodies.
This prompted the Sport Council to try and reduce the budget and make a smaller stadium for $1.3 billion. But construction firms said they would need about $2.5 billion. After another round of reviews, it came down again, to about $2 billion.
But with growing public criticism over the mounting fees, Prime Minister Abe announced last month that the government was going to review the plan from scratch. The new plan limits the budget to about $1.3 billion. But that's still about 3 times higher than for the main stadiums at the London and Beijing Games.
The stadium is set to be complete by the end of April 2020. But the International Olympic Committee requests it be built by January. The government plans to seek proposals from designers and construction firms to try and make the date.