In order to stymie ballooning costs, a city of Tokyo panel is urging the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee to reconsider constructing a new aquatics center for the event.
Instead, the committee has suggested that the Olympic aquatic events be held in the Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center in downtown Tokyo, close to the Olympic village.
The original plan for the venue boasted a seating capacity of 20,000, compared to just under 15,000 at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio, 17,500 for London, and 17,000 for Beijing.
The Tatsumi seats only 3,635 spectators.
A preliminary report from the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee found that total event costs could balloon to four times the original estimate, surging from 734 billion yen ($7.24 billion USD) to over 3 trillion yen ($29 billion USD).
The Tokyo panel, urged in part by the recently elected governor Yuriko Koike, who campaigned partially on a review of expenses, also proposed scrapping plans for volleyball and rowing venues.
However, the event organizers say that the proposed changes may be difficult to enact.
“These sites were chosen over years and approved by the sports federations and International Olympic Committee,” Yoshiro Mori, head of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, told Reuters. “It would be extremely difficult to overturn this.”
Contrary to the city’s bid proposal, which suggested 85% of athletic venues would be within 5 miles of the Olympic village, organizers have already moved several events, including basketball, cycling, and sailing, outside of the capital. The cycling courses, notably, are in Shizuoka, 125 miles away. The initially proposed design for the site of the opening and closing ceremonies has also been overturned due to cost.