Tokyo Committee Wants to Use Existing Pools for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

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.

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He Gets It Done Again
5 years ago

If they do this, they will definitely add lots of seating. There’s no way the capacity will be less than 4k at the Olympics – think of the ticket revenue they’d be giving up! Especially if their motivation to switch venues is a financial one, they would probably build at least 10,000 additional seats at Tatsumi. They probably figure it’s cheaper to add seats to an existing aquatics venue than to build a new one from scratch.

5 years ago

Obviously you’ve got to assume with any estimate that costs are going to end up being a bit higher when it’s all said and done, but when you’re looking at a 300% margin of error in the wrong direction, someone had better be under some serious heat.

5 years ago

I’d put Beijing 2008 up there. No money issues – the government backed up with unlimited resources. The water cube was magnificent – just ask the GOAT!

Nathan Smith
5 years ago

Probably a good idea with a little improvement to seating.

5 years ago

Just put a Myrtha pool into a basketball arena and be done with it.

Bo swims
Reply to  Don
5 years ago

Warm ups in the parking lot… the 3k seated pool can host prelims for water polo

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  Don
5 years ago

And have some lanes going faster in one direction than others?

NO thanks.

5 years ago

Hooray we started on Tokyo ! Here is the first up complaint – pool seating. Not only won’t there be so many but dear Westerners the seats will be be on the narrow side .

Japanese are the politest ppl on the planet but it really is intransigence with a smile .I look forward to them battling the increasingly obnoxious Olympic Empire with its Anglo warlords.

Lane Four
Reply to  G.I.N.A
5 years ago

Actually G.I.N.A, the 1964 Tokyo Games were spectacular – especially the pool used for those Games. The complaint about seating should have never happened. But if this is true, then this is more an affront to the sport of swimming and deserves to be dealt with immediately. If swim fans have something to say, then so be it. A 3,500 seat “Olympic Swimming Facility” is an insult to the sport. I trust the Japanese and believe this will be taken care of quickly.

Reply to  Lane Four
5 years ago

1964 was My Fair Lady , Beatlemania , LBJ , De Gaulle Mao & Japan made toys.

2020 will be – who knows but it will not be the same

Lane Four
5 years ago

Never in a million years would I have thought Tokyo would now be in this position. The seating for the swim facility is fine for a national event but NOT the Olympic Games. Come on, Tokyo, that wasn’t funny.

5 years ago

Reduce the seating capacity for one of the premier Olympic events by roughly 14,000!?!?!? You’ve got to be kidding me

Dylan Regan
Reply to  BoycottTokyo
5 years ago

I’m not familiar with the pool but they could have built temporary seating at that pool for the games, just a thought.

Reply to  Dylan Regan
5 years ago

It seems to have a large glass wall/window along one side of the main pool, I presume it could be removed and temp seats put in there like Sydney and London, I don’t think it would get above 10,000.
Looking at pics of the centre it does look pretty amazing and it is very near the Olympic Village.

Reply to  BoycottTokyo
5 years ago

your profile name screams your hypocrisy

About Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht grew up in Kansas and spent most of her childhood trying to convince coaches to let her swim backstroke in freestyle sets. She took her passion to Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and swam at NAIA Nationals all four years. After graduating in 2015, she moved to …

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