Tokyo Olympic Stadium Plans Overshadow 2020 Summer Games Euphoria
Just weeks after they rode the wave of euphoria to Olympic victory when Tokyo won the right to host the 2020 Games, organizers "are being brought back to Earth with a bump," according to the AFP. The eye-catching architectural centerpiece -- a futuristic, bike-helmet-shaped stadium -- "is too big, according to detractors." What is more, "some have added, it’s too expensive." Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki said, "A huge building is not always loved by people… and after the Olympics are over, many people will be forced to see it." Rising to about 70m, the 80,000-seat facility "would tower over most of the structures around it in a part of the densely-packed city that has historically restricted the height of buildings to 15 meters or less." Maki said, "It’s important that people don’t have to see it if they don’t want to. If there is no event going on inside the stadium, it is just an enormous object." The comments by Maki came after Japan’s minister in charge of the Olympics, Hakubun Shimomura, said last month that "the estimated cost for the construction of the stadium is now about" 300B yen ($3B), more than double the 130B yen that was originally stipulated in the design competition. Shimomura told the parliament, "We need to look at how we might shrink the plan because the budget is too big" (AFP, 11/3).