Tokyo Olympic stadium 90% complete; opening set for December

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Tokyo’s new National Stadium is 90 percent completed with the opening of the Olympics just over a year away. (AFP)
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Tokyo is spending at least $20 billion to get ready for the 2020 Summer Olympics. (AFP)
Updated 03 July 2019

Tokyo Olympic stadium 90% complete; opening set for December

  • Organizers say they are planning events in December to inaugurate the new stadium
  • Tokyo is spending at least $20 billion to get ready, 70 percent of which is taxpayers’ money

TOKYO: Tokyo’s new National Stadium is 90 percent completed with the opening of the Olympics just over a year away.
Media were given a glimpse inside the $1.25 billion stadium on Wednesday. It is located in central Tokyo and will be the scene of the opening ceremony on July 24, 2020. It will also be the venue for track and field and some soccer.
Organizers say they are planning events in December to inaugurate the new stadium, which was designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma.
The new stadium design was first awarded to British architect Zaha Hadid, but eventually the futuristic design was scrapped by the government as the cost soared toward $2 billion.
Organizers say about 45,000 of the 60,000 permanent seats have been installed, and the grass surface should be down by the end of the month. The all-weather track will be installed in August and September.
Including the stadium, Tokyo is building eight new venues for the Olympics. The other 35 venues for the games are defined as “temporary” or older buildings that are being reused, which Tokyo organizers say has saved billions. The other centerpiece for the games will be the Olympic Village for more than 10,000 athletes being built on the edge of Tokyo Bay.
The Summer Olympics don’t come cheaply, and even existing venues need extensive renovation when the Games come to town. Exact costs — what are, and are not Olympic expenses — are difficult to sort out. But Tokyo is spending at least $20 billion to get ready, 70 percent of which is taxpayers’ money.


Saudi helpers step up to the tee at first women’s golf tournament

Updated 26 February 2020

Saudi helpers step up to the tee at first women’s golf tournament

  • Volunteers will have the chance to step inside the ropes and get up close with the sport’s leading players

JEDDAH: Saudi volunteers will be able to write their names into the history books by helping at the first-ever Saudi Ladies International professional golf tournament.

Competition organizers are looking to recruit hundreds of people to help with the smooth running of the four-day event from March 19-22 at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC).

Volunteers will have the chance to step inside the ropes and get up close with the sport’s leading players, including Order of Merit winner Beth Allen, three-time Ladies European Tour (LET) winner Carly Booth and Solheim Cup hero Azahara Munoz, as they compete for $1 million in prize money. 

The LET tournament in Saudi Arabia will mark the first time that professional female golfers have played competitively in the country, and comes hot on the heels of last month’s triumphant men’s equivalent, the Saudi International, won by Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell.

Online registration is now open for the debut event’s volunteers’ program.

Volunteers will be briefed before the event and receive a tournament uniform to wear while they work.

Marshals, including traveling, static, crossing and transitional positions, will be required for the tournament. Mobile scoreboard operators and walking scorers are among other roles that will offer volunteers a unique insight into the world-class event.

Mike Oliver, event director at Golf Saudi, said: “For the first year of this event, we are offering volunteers a chance to be part of history, working at the first professional women’s golf event to be held in the country.

“Volunteers, from both Saudi Arabia and abroad, will play a key role in helping us deliver a successful inaugural tournament,” he said.

A certificate of service will be presented to volunteers at the completion of the tournament.

As a bonus, volunteers will have their photo taken with the 2020 ladies winner during the prize presentation — a moment that will be seen by a worldwide audience via live broadcasts.