Tokyo opens empty Olympic venues up for public use

Spectators wearing face masks attend the opening ceremony of the Ariake Arena, venue for the volleyball and wheelchair basketball competitions in the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

TOKYO, Jul 27, 2020, Reuters. Tokyo Olympics venues that would have been packed with the world’s top athletes and supporters but for the coronavirus pandemic are now being opened up for use by sporting federations and the public, Japan Today reported.

The newly built Canoe Slalom Center opened on Monday for athletes to practice, while the recently renovated Tatsumi Swimming Center, which is set to host water polo, will be available for use from mid-August.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government said it plans to also open up other Olympic venues in the coming months, although that could change depending on the coronavirus situation.

The Games had been due to begin last Friday but have been pushed back to 2021.

The bill for the Games had come to more than 1.35 trillion yen ($12.6 billion) before the postponement. The International Olympic Committee has estimated the postponement will cost it $800 million while Japan has yet to give an estimate on how much the postponement will cost the country.

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