Tokyo Olympic venues make progress with 2 years to go

The construction was more than a year behind schedule when it started in December 2016, as an earlier stadium plan was scrapped because of spiraling costs and unpopular design.

The JSC, the government-funded stadium operator, says the 68,000-seat stadium is on schedule to be finished in November of 2019.   -  GETTY IMAGES

The Japan Sports Council gave a progress report on the new National Stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday, saying the project is 40 per cent complete with two years to go before the opening ceremony.

Located in central Tokyo, the Olympic Stadium will be the centerpiece of the 2020 Games. The JSC, the government-funded stadium operator, says the 68,000-seat stadium is on schedule to be finished in November of 2019. It will host the opening ceremony on July 24, 2020, as well as athletics and the closing ceremony.

READ| The heat is on: IOC braces for scorching Tokyo Olympics

The construction was more than a year behind schedule when it started in December 2016, as an earlier stadium plan was scrapped because of spiraling costs and unpopular design.

The Japanese government approved the new 150 billion yen ($1.5 billion) stadium which is a joint venture among Taisei Corporation, Azusa Sekkei Co. and the office of Kengo Kuma, the architect who designed the replacement.

The JSC says the construction site has about 2,000 workers on an average day but that will be increased to 3,000 this summer.

Tokyo organizers said this week that all the newly-constructed venues for the games are 20-40 per cent complete.

READ| Tokyo 2020 Olympic torch relay to start in Fukushima

The Olympic Village will have 21 flat-type buildings and provide 18,000 beds for the Olympics and 8,000 for the Paralympics. Organizers say its 40 per cent completed and will be finished in December of 2019. After the Olympics, two 50-storey buildings will be developed and sold to the public as residential units.

The Olympic Aquatics Center will host swimming, diving and artistic swimming. Located in the Tokyo Bay Zone, the newly-constructed four-story facility will have a seating capacity of 15,000. The facility is scheduled to be finished by February 2020.

READ| Doe-eyed superhero picked as Tokyo 2020 mascot

The Sea Forest Waterway will host canoe sprint and rowing events. Also located in the Tokyo Bay Zone area, the venue will be able to accommodate 24,000 spectators. A water gate and pumping facility will be set up at both ends of the 200x2,000-meter waterway to prevent waves and tide level from affecting the competition. It is expected to be completed in late 2019.

The Musashino Forest Sports Plaza, which will host badminton and fencing, is the only completed venue and has already hosted several sports events.