Olympics: Main construction begins for new National Stadium

2 December 2016

The main construction work for the new National Stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics began Thursday, about 14 months later than originally planned, according to the Japan Sports Council.

 The groundbreaking ceremony for the stadium will take place Dec. 11, with construction scheduled to be completed at the end of November 2019. Procedures for filing the building certification application with the Tokyo metropolitan government were concluded Tuesday, the council said.

Under the original plan, construction of the main stadium for the 2020 Games was to begin in October last year, but the scheme was scrapped following public outcry over ballooning cost estimates for the design by the late Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid.

Last December, the Japanese government chose the stadium design of Japanese architect Kengo Kuma who collaborated with construction giant Taisei Corp. and building planner Azusa Sekkei Co.

In October, the council agreed on a contract worth about 149 billion yen (around $1.3 billion) with a joint venture including Taisei.