New National Stadium (Tokyo)

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New National Stadium
Kokuritsu Kasumigaoka Rikujo Kyogijo-21i.jpg
Stadium under construction, November 2018
Location10-2, Kasumigaoka-machi, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
Coordinates35°40′41″N 139°42′53″E / 35.67806°N 139.71472°E / 35.67806; 139.71472Coordinates: 35°40′41″N 139°42′53″E / 35.67806°N 139.71472°E / 35.67806; 139.71472
OwnerJapan Sport Council
80,016 (Maximum with temporary seats)
Field size105 × 68 m
Broke ground11 December 2016
BuiltDecember 2016 - November 2019
Construction costUS$ 1.26 billion
ArchitectKengo Kuma
Japan national football team (2019–)

New National Stadium (新国立競技場, Shin kokuritsu kyōgijō) is a multi-purpose stadium under construction in Kasumigaoka, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. The stadium will serve as the main stadium for the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as being the venue for track and field events at the 2020 Summer Olympics as well as 2020 Summer Paralympics.

Demolition of old National Stadium was completed in May 2015, then the construction of new stadium began at the same site on 11 December 2016.

The original plans for the new stadium were scrapped in July 2015 by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, who announced a rebid after a public outcry because of increased building costs. As a result, the new design will not be ready for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, as originally intended.[1] A new design created by architect Kengo Kuma was chosen in December 2015 to replace the original design and is to be completed in November 2019.


After Tokyo submitted their bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics, there was talk of possibly renovating or reconstructing the National Olympic Stadium. The stadium would host the opening and closing ceremonies as well as track and field events.[2]

It was confirmed in February 2012 that the stadium would be demolished and reconstructed, and receive a £1 billion upgrade. In November 2012, renderings of the new national stadium were revealed based on a design by architect Zaha Hadid. The stadium was demolished in 2015 and the new one is scheduled to be completed in March 2019.[3] The new stadium will be the venue for athletics, rugby and certain football finals, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies on the Olympics.[4]

Empty space of the stadium before construction

Due to budget constraints, the Japanese government announced several changes to Hadid's design in May 2015, including cancelling plans to build a retractable roof and converting some permanent seating to temporary seating.[5] The site area was also reduced from 71 to 52 acres. Several prominent Japanese architects, including Toyo Ito and Fumihiko Maki, criticized Hadid's design, with Ito comparing it to a turtle and Maki calling it a white elephant; others have criticized the stadium's encroachment on the outer gardens of the Meiji Shrine. Arata Isozaki, on the other hand, commented that he was “shocked to see that the dynamism present in the original had gone” in the redesign of Hadid's original plan.[6] The roof of the new stadium has been particularly problematic from an engineering perspective, as it requires the construction of two steel arches 370 meters long. Even after design changes, the stadium was estimated to cost over 300 billion yen, more than three times the cost of the Olympic stadium in London and more than five times the cost of the Olympic stadium in Beijing.[7]

The Japanese government reached an agreement in June 2015 with Taisei Corporation and Takenaka Corporation to complete the stadium for a total cost of around 250 billion yen. The final agreed plan maintained the steel arch design while reducing the permanent capacity of the stadium to 65,000 in track mode with an additional 15,000 simple temporary seats available, allowing for an 80,000 capacity for football and the 2019 Rugby World Cup.[8][9]

On July 17, 2015, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that plans to build the new National Stadium would be scrapped and rebid on amid public discontent over the stadium's building costs. As a result, Abe said that a replacement venue would have to be selected for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, as the new stadium would not be ready until the 2020 Olympics.[1]

As of August 28, 2015, the Japanese Government released new standards for the National Stadium's reconstruction. The fixed capacity would be 68,000 and be expandable to 80,000 through the use of temporary seats over the athletics track. The government also abandoned the retractable roof, instead a permanent roof will be constructed over the spectator seating only. Additionally, a sports museum and sky walkway that were part of the scrapped design were eliminated while VIP lounges and seats were reduced, along with reduced underground parking facilities. These reductions result in a site of 198,500 square meters, 13% less than originally planned. Air conditioning for the stadium was also abandoned upon request of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and when asked about the abandonment Minister for the Olympics Toshiaki Endo stated that, "Air conditioners are installed in only two stadiums around the world, and they can only cool temperatures by 2 °C or 3 °C".[10]

The government has slated a decision on contractors and a design by December 2015, with construction to begin at its latest in December 2016.[10] Designers must partner with contractors to submit a design alongside construction cost and timing estimates. It has also been revealed that the athletics track will be a permanent feature not to be demolished for the additional 12,000 seats for any future World Cup bid.[11] As of 18 September 2015, two contractors have reportedly submitted bids for the process: the Taisei Corporation working with architect Kengo Kuma and a consortium of several major Japanese contractors including the Takenaka, Shimizu, and Obayashi corporations working with architect Toyo Ito. Former winning architect Zaha Hadid was unable to find a contractor willing to work with her design, and was therefore forced to abandon efforts to resubmit her revised design in the new competition.[12]

On December 21, 2015, the Japan Sport Council announced that Kuma and the Taisei Corporation had been selected to design and construct the National Olympic Stadium.[13] The stadium is set to begin construction in October 2016, running until November 30, 2019 where the stadium will be handed over to the IOC for necessary games and ceremony preparations, including test events. The new design will hold 68,089 in athletics mode with the ability to construct temporary seating over the permanent track to create an increased capacity of 80,016.[14] Capacity during the Olympic Games will be 60,102 taking into account press and executive seating areas. This capacity is further lessened for the Paralympics to 57,750 to add more handicap accessible seating.

Friendly Match Inauguration New Stadium[edit]


  1. ^ a b Himmer, Alastair (17 July 2015). "Japan rips up 2020 Olympic stadium plans to start anew". AFP. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  2. ^ "Tokyo 2020 Bid Venue Could Be Renovated". 2011-09-21. Archived from the original on 2014-02-03.
  3. ^ Dazzling re-design for 2019 World Cup final venue
  4. ^ "Venue Plan". Tokyo 2020 Bid Committee. Archived from the original on 27 July 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  5. ^ "Japan plans to scale back stadium for 2020 Tokyo Olympics". AP. 18 May 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  6. ^ Qin, Amy (4 January 2015). "National Pride at a Steep Price: Olympic Stadium in Tokyo Is Dogged by Controversy". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  7. ^ "新国立、迫る契約期限 国とゼネコンの調整難航 屋根の巨大アーチ、斬新ゆえ「難工事」". Nihon Keizai Shimbun. 22 June 2015. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  8. ^ "新国立、整備費2500億円 従来デザイン維持で決着". Nihon Keizai Shimbun. 24 June 2015. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  9. ^ "国立競技場将来構想有識者会議". 日本スポーツ振興センター. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  10. ^ a b "The Japan News". The Japan News. Archived from the original on September 26, 2015.
  11. ^ "入札・公募情報 | 調達情報 | JAPAN SPORT COUNCIL". Japan Sport Council. (in Japanese)
  12. ^ NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) (18 September 2015). "2 groups enter bids to build Tokyo Olympic Stadium". NHK World News. Archived from the original on 26 September 2015. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  13. ^
  14. ^

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Estádio do Maracanã
Rio de Janeiro
Summer Olympics
Opening and Closing Ceremonies (National Stadium)

Succeeded by
Stade de France
Preceded by
Estádio Olímpico Nilton Santos
Rio de Janeiro
Olympic Athletics competitions
Main Venue

Succeeded by
Stade de France
Preceded by
Estádio Olímpico Nilton Santos
Rio de Janeiro
Paralympic Athletics competitions
Main Venue

Succeeded by
Stade de France