- Construction is finally underway on the $1.5 billion 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games stadium, according to Yahoo Sports.
- The Kengo Kuma-designed open-air venue will be built on the same site as the country’s 1964 Games stadium and will feature a wood design that reflects Japanese culture. Officials approved the plans in October.
- The stadium schedule is currently five months behind initial estimates, largely due to the scuttling of the original $2 billion-plus Zaha Hadid design over claims that it was too expensive and did not represent the aesthetic of the Japanese people. The country has been in the throes of an economic downturn and has been sensitive to Olympic extravagances.
Kuma's stadium design includes a near-flat roof with greenery along the outer concourses, with the stadium's track and field below ground level. The height of stadium from the ground up is a low-profile 164 feet tall.
The cost of Japan’s 2020 Games has quadrupled and is now approximately $30 billion, four times original projections. It is not uncommon for countries to deficit-spend their way to the Olympics, as the coveted hosting spot is seen as a way to showcase the country and attract tourism and development. The most expensive Olympics were the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, which ended up costing $51 billion.
In fact, the stadium is not the only controversy to emerge around the 2020 Games. Japan's sports minister resigned over the stadium debacle, and Japan's original Olympic logo was scrapped after allegations of plagiarism.
Throwing caution to the wind, Los Angeles has entered the race to host the 2024 Games. When Boston withdrew its bid in 2015, Los Angeles and the U.S. Olympic Committee came to an agreement under which the city would be the official U.S. bidder for the Games. Los Angeles is up against other cities like Paris and Rome, and the International Olympic Committee will announce the official host city sometime next year.