Tokyo opens up Olympic venues for public use

Venues that had been scheduled to host this year’s Olympics in Tokyo have been opened up for public use following the postponement of the Games.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has confirmed that the venues will be available to use “to the extent that public usage does not interfere with the delivery of and preparations for the Games”.

The Games had originally been scheduled to take place from July 24 to August 9 but the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the event to be pushed back until July 23 to August 8, 2021.

Games venues will be opened for public use sequentially following consultations between the relevant organisations and once safety measures have been implemented. So far, the Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre has opened, while the Tatsumi Water Polo Centre is set to follow suit in mid-August.

The opening dates for other new permanent venues will be confirmed at a later date. The public use of venues may be suspended depending on the future COVID-19 situation and locals have been asked to cooperate with measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

Earlier this month, the Tokyo 2020 organising committee confirmed that it has secured all the venues for next year’s event as the competition schedule was announced.

All facilities that were to be used for this year’s Games will be used in 2021, with 43 competition venues pencilled in to stage events.

This year’s Games were officially postponed on March 24 and Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto has previously conceded that organisers would face “massive” additional costs in securing the facilities for a rescheduled Olympics.

Muto stressed that it would not just be the competition venues that needed to be secured again, but also thousands of existing contracts spanning the likes of accommodation, security and ticketing.

Image: Tokyo 2020