SBD/June 27, 2014/Olympics

IOC Mindful Of Construction Costs For '20 Tokyo Games, Could Scale Back Venues

Tokyo pledged to keep most competition sites within 8 km of the Olympic Village
After a three-day visit by the IOC's Coordination Commission to Tokyo this week -- the first since the city won hosting rights for the ‘20 Summer Games last September -- IOC VP John Coates has “urged Tokyo to ensure plans” for the event “avoid wasteful construction and welcomed talk of reviewing or possibly scaling back venues,” according to Elaine Lies of REUTERS. Coates: "We want to see venues that are sustainable, and sustainable legacies. We want to see more existing venues, we want to see the use of more temporary grandstands.” Lies notes Tokyo's bid “emphasized a war chest” of some $4.5B and “pledged to keep most competition sites within 8 km of the Olympic Village in downtown Tokyo.” One proposed change would be to “opt out of building new facilities for basketball and badminton.” Coates said that the talks “did not touch on specific venues except for the kayak/canoe slalom course, which has run into opposition from environmentalists.” Discussions “were not held about the new National Stadium,” whose design by London-based architect Zaha Hadid, responsible for the aquatics center for the ‘12 London Olympics, has already been “scaled back due to cost concerns” (REUTERS, 6/27).
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