Skip to content
CityLab
Design

Even the IOC Wants Tokyo to Scale Down Plans for 2020

Efforts to save the city's 56-year-old National Stadium won't stop the wrecking ball, but rising costs are forcing officials to pull back on building new venues.
Protesters march at Tokyo's old National Stadium, which will be demolished and replaced with a new National Stadium.
Protesters march at Tokyo's old National Stadium, which will be demolished and replaced with a new National Stadium.AP/Eugene Hoshiko

Approximately 500 people marched around Tokyo's National Stadium last Saturday to protest plans for its demolition. Used for the 1964 Summer Olympics and slated for demolition this month, its replacement has become the face of a 2020 games budget that's already spiraled upward enough for officials to start revising their plan.  

Zaha Hadid won the commission to build an 80,000-seat stadium with a retractable roof in 2012, almost a full year before Tokyo was awarded the 2020 Olympics. Estimates for the construction of the stadium ballooned to as much as $3 billion by last fall.