The Japanese government has signed off on plans to slash the construction costs for the country’s new national stadium, the centrepiece of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, by more than a third, from Y265.1bn (GBP£1.35bn) to Y155bn (€1.16bn/$1.28bn).
The stadium will now have a capacity of 68,000 (rather than the 72,000 as orginally planned); making it large enough to host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympic Games, said lawmakers and officials, who declined to be named because an official agreement has yet to be made.
The government scrapped the original plans due to a public outcry over the cost of the venue.
The process to identify the designers and builders for the new stadium will start next month, with the winners of the tenders due to be announced before the end of this year.
The revised plans do not include air conditioning in spectator areas or a roof, although there will still be covered seats. The 68,000-capacity is 4,000 less than the original proposals, however there will be the option of adding a further 12,000 seats in the future, should Tokyo be successful in a bid for the FIFA World Cup.
“We have in principle limited the functions of the facility to those necessary for competition under the concept of athlete-first, while keeping the level of the facility suitable as a main stadium for Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a meeting of ministers today. “As a result, we have managed to achieve a major cost reduction of more than Y100bn.”