The stage is set for the Tokyo Olympics.
Japan’s National Stadium, which will serve as the centerpiece for the 2020 Summer Games, was completed Saturday, according to The Japan Times.
The 60,000-seat National Stadium took 36 months and $1.4 billion to complete before being handed over to the Japan Sport Council eight months ahead of the Olympics.
The seven-story facility was designed by architect Kengo Kuma to replace the old National Stadium – the site of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics – in central Tokyo. The new version will host the Opening Ceremony on July 24, 2020, and also hold track and field competitions and some soccer games before the event ends Aug. 9. The site will also host the 2020 Summer Paralympics from Aug. 25 through Sept. 6.
The idea for a new National Stadium began in 2011, with the goal of revamping the facility for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Tokyo was named the Olympic host in 2013, while the original design of British architect Zaha Hadid was scrapped and the Nov. 2 rugby final was moved to International Stadium in Yokohama.
National Stadium is one of eight new venues Tokyo is building for the Olympics, according to the Associated Press. Tokyo is reportedly spending at least $20 billion in preparation for the 2020 Games, 70% of which is taxpayers’ money.