A huge bicycle helmet styled design has been approved by the Japanese sports chief on November 15, 2012 for the country’s new national sports stadium. The design of its new stadium will take centre stage if it wins the right to host the 2020 Olympics.
The structure of the stadium has been designed by the Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid. It is set to have a retractable roof and seating capacity for 80,000 people. The stadium is expected to cost 130 billion yen. The sports arena will need to be ready by 2019 for Japan to host the rugby World Cup and for the Olympics as well, if Tokyo manages to beat Madrid and Istanbul to be eligible to host the event.
The stadium will be built on the site of the existing national stadium in central Tokyo which seats 54,000 people. The old stadium was the centre piece of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. The new design was selected by the Japan Sports Council which is government funded and was selected in an international competition, which brought together works by 46 architects.
Hadid was the one who designed the Aquatics Centre for this year’s London Olympics. He was awarded 20 million yen as the winner for the new design. The venue for the 2020 Olympics will be chosen through votes by the International Olympic committee. Tokyo and Istanbul are seen as strong competitors at this point.