Tokyo government to pay a quarter of Olympic stadium cost

TOKYO (AP) — The Tokyo city government agreed Tuesday to foot a quarter of the 158 billion yen ($1.3 billion) cost for the new stadium for the 2020 Olympics.

The Tokyo government will pay 39.5 billion yen ($320.8 million) of the total cost. The national government will pay half, or 79.1 billion yen ($640 million), and proceeds from a national sports lottery will cover the remaining 39.5 billion yen.

Tokyo’s governor, Yoichi Masuzoe, agreed to the plan in talks with Japan’s Olympics minister and education minister, who is in charge of sports.

The city will also cover some related costs, such as a pedestrian walkway and maintenance for the stadium, which is expected to become a national landmark and recreation site after the Olympics.

Work on the stadium fell behind as the government abandoned a design by renowned architect Zaha Hadid due to spiraling costs, sending organizers back to the drawing board.

The new facility will replace the old National Stadium, which hosted the previous Tokyo Olympics in 1964.

The old venue was torn down, over the complaints of many who favored retrofitting it for 2020.

The Japan Sport Council hopes to choose a new design proposal by the end of the year, and then develop detailed plans with a view to breaking ground in early 2017. The pressure will be on to finish in time for the opening ceremony in 2020.

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