Tokyo governor confirms new volleyball arena for 2020 Games

AP News
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Posted: Dec 16, 2016 3:24 AM
Tokyo governor confirms new volleyball arena for 2020 Games

TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike wants a new volleyball arena for the 2020 Olympics built in the city's waterfront Ariake district instead of using an existing facility in neighboring Yokohama.

The proposal for a new venue comes despite a Tokyo government panel warning that the cost of the Olympics could exceed $30 billion — four times the initial estimate — unless drastic cuts are made.

Koike had proposed moving volleyball, swimming and canoe sprint to existing venues outside the capital, but has now agreed that facilities for all three will be built in the city as originally planned.

The final decision on the volleyball arena is expected to be made Dec. 21 during a teleconference of a four-party working group reviewing costs of the 2020 Olympics.

Speaking Friday, Koike said a plan is being considered to sell the operating rights of the arena to private firms after the end of the Olympics.

Several other sports including gymnastics and BMX cycling will be staged in the same area.

Tokyo organizers had previously backed the Ariake arena as it could be used for sports like figure skating, basketball and ice hockey after the games.

Tokyo currently lacks a state-of-the-art sports arena large enough to stage international events. Yoyogi National Gymnasium was built for the 1964 Olympics and has a seating capacity of 13,000.