Tokyo 2020 has announced a change in strategy for its gymnastics venue, with the planned temporary arena set to be converted to a permanent facility for the Olympic Games by 2019.
Tokyo 2020 spokesperson Hikariko Ono said the arena is being upgraded with a view towards its use for business purposes after the Games. The venue will be located in Tokyo’s Ariake area and will have a capacity to seat 12,000 spectators. It will be situated close to venues staging tennis, volleyball and BMX cycling during the Olympics.
Ono told the Reuters news agency that “specific discussions about sharing of the budget” haven't been held yet as the change in plan means that the construction budget would be shared with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
“In April, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Organising Committee will sign the basic agreement, and based on that we will decide on the concrete sharing of responsibility and budget, that is our understanding at the moment,” Ono said.
The announcement today (Thursday) marks the latest venue change for Tokyo 2020. In December, it was confirmed that track cycling and mountain bike events will be staged around 120 kilometres from Tokyo.
Talks between the International Cycling Union (UCI), Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had been ongoing for months, with Olympic organisers keen on staging cycling events at a non-Tokyo-based venue in order to save money.
Izu, a two-hour-plus train journey from Tokyo, had previously been pinpointed as the destination for track cycling, mountain biking and BMX events. However, while BMX will remain in Tokyo an agreement was reached to switch track cycling and mountain biking to the city in Shizuoka Prefecture.
Track events have been relocated from the originally planned temporary velodrome at Ariake to the existing Izu Velodrome. The mountain bike events have been relocated from the originally planned temporary course in the Sea Forest venue to the existing Izu Mountain Bike Course.