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Indoor arena for 2020 Olympics and Paralympics opened in Tokyo
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games organising committee has reached another milestone with the official inauguration of the Ariake Arena at the weekend.
The venue, built by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which will have a capacity of 15,000 during the 2020 Games, is scheduled to host volleyball at the Olympics and, subject to confirmation, wheelchair basketball during the Paralympics.
With work on the venue completed in December, more than 3,000 people attended the launch event at which Japan's volleyball and wheelchair basketball teams showed off their skills, while a traditional dance performance took place.
The inauguration finished with a Japanese pop concert, with local residents then allowed to explore the venue.
The venue’s main feature is a concave roof which reduces the amount of indoor space, minimising the need for lighting and air conditioning.
Other environmentally-friendly elements of its design include the use of solar panels and geothermal heat equipment in a bid to reduce the building's carbon footprint.
The Arena also includes universally-designed toilets and wheelchair-accessible seats. Post-Olympics, it is hoped the arena will serve as a sports and entertainment hub for Tokyo when it reopens in August 2021, from which point it will be operated by the Tokyo Ariake Arena Inc., a new special purpose company which has concluded Japan’s first-ever concession agreement with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
Wheelchair basketball’s status at the Paralympics is in to doubt due to a failure to comply with classification rules.
The International Paralympic Committee has given the sport until 29th May to implement an action plan, or it could lose its place in Tokyo.The delivery of the Ariake Arena comes after work was completed on the 12,000-seat Ariake Gymnastics Centre in October. Tokyo’s new 68,000-seat National Stadium, which will serve as the centrepiece for this year’s Games, officially opened in December.
The last permanent venue under construction for the Games is the Tokyo Aquatics Centre and is due to be delivered later this month.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics will take place from 24th July to 9th August, with the Paralympics to follow from 25th August to 6th September.
Ariake Arena images courtesy of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
10th December 2019 - World Anti-Doping Agency bans Russia from Tokyo Olympics and 2022 FIFA World Cup
3rd December 2019 - Completed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium handed over to Japan Sport Council
19th November 2019 - Construction completed at Tokyo’s new Olympic Stadium
30th October 2019 - 12,000-seat Olympics gymnastics venue unveiled for Tokyo 2020
6th September 2019 - Tokyo 2020 summer Olympics looks to snow machines for event cooling
25th July 2019 - IOC ‘very satisfied’ with preparations for 2020 Tokyo Olympics
25th March 2019 - Tokyo 2020 medals to be made from recycled electronic waste
3rd January 2019 - Tokyo 2020 Olympics organisers maintain steady budget
29th June 2018 - Tokyo 2020 Olympics organisers look to showcase green technology
21st October 2019 - Japan looks to future rugby growth and enhanced international opportunities
18th January 2019 - Japanese stadia to introduce new cashless smart venue concept
11th December 2018 - Japan bans ticket scalping at major sporting events
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