The sports ministry is considering renovating Tokyo’s National Stadium which could be used as the main venue for the Opening Ceremony and track-and-field events, should Tokyo be selected host city for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.
The ministry reportedly hopes to boost seating capacity for the aging stadium, which was built in 1958, and increase the number of track lanes to raise the facility to Olympic standards.
Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda said, “the central government is giving this consideration in a positive direction”.
Asahi Shimbun quotes a senior official at the Tokyo metropolitan government saying, “if the central government renovates the stadium, it will significantly reduce costs (for the Tokyo bid)”.
If the renovations are implemented, the Tokyo metropolitan government may change the specifications of Tokyo’s 2020 bid.
In its failed 2016 bid the government was planning to spent an estimated $1.3 billion to build a new stadium as the main venue, but the site had been criticized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as being dangerous in the event of a natural disaster, since it is surrounded by water on all three sides.