Japanese sports officials on Tuesday approved the plans to build a new national stadium in preparation for the 2020 Summer Olympic games, set to be held in the capital city of Tokyo. The brand-new sports facility, expected to feature state-of-the art design, is intended to be the centerpiece of the international games. It also comes with a hefty 252 billion yen price tag.
The Japan Sports Council (JSC), the body working under the country’s education ministry responsible for the stadium’s construction, has been blamed for allowing the budget for the facility to drastically increase, the Japan Times reported. The JSC initially estimated construction costs for the new stadium at roughly 162 billion yen, or about $1.3 billion, before morphing into a 252 billion yen, or $2.1 billion, project.
Zaha Hadid-designed Tokyo 2020 main Olympic Stadium to cost double original estimate pic.twitter.com/TbHTOk6R54
— PAZ (@tortugadiaz) June 30, 2015
“There are only a few construction companies that could carry out the plan,” JSC executive Masao Yamasaki said in the report. “There won’t be much competition, so the prices aren’t likely to go down.”
Yamasaki pointed specifically to the stadium’s roof, which, when finished, is supposed to include keel arches, a complex architectural feature that is one of the reasons a limited number of companies can handle the project. The arches are also expected to be the main feature of the stadium that received criticism from design experts.
— Alice Wheeler (@alicekwheels) June 29, 2015
With construction slated to begin in October, critics worry that the price tag will continue to grow as work progresses. “Considering what the International Olympic Committee is carrying out in [cost-cutting] reform, the current cost is far from satisfactory,” Japan’s Olympics Committee Chairman Tsunekazu Takeda said in response to the new inflated budget. The ministry has yet to secure all the funds for the stadium, but estimated it will be able to secure at least 100 billion yen from revenues from the soccer ticket lottery, which is expected to be popular. Other portions of the funds are expected to come from private donations and sponsorship naming rights.