Japan’s Olympic Bicycle Helmet Stadium Has Been Canceled. RIP, Bicycle Helmet Stadium
Japan was angry that day, my friends. Like an old man sending back soup at a deli. (Jerry Seinfeld gives quizzical look).
On Friday Japan canceled plans for a $2 billion stadium that would have been the centerpiece of the 2020 Olympics, and yes, you can do that. Just because someone paid for blueprints and a tiny model doesn't mean you have to build it. Why is the controversial "Bicycle Helmet" Dome now on the scrap heap? Two reasons:
1. In the latest poll, 81 percent of Japan's population was against it.
2. And that's mainly because the original cost estimate was $1 billion, and the latest revised cost estimate was more than $2 billion. "It's all those bathrooms." -- Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House.
Instead, the Japanese Olympic Committee will reopen bidding for a new stadium design and start from scratch in an effort to reduce costs. The updated $2.1 billion price tag would have made it the most expensive stadium in history. Huffington Post:
Beyond Japan’s borders, Tokyo’s stadium problems are yet another warning of what can go wrong in the time between a host city’s selection and the actual Olympics, especially as cities approach the International Olympic Committee’s September deadline for submitting bids to host the 2024 Olympics.
Olympic costs exceed original expectations “with 100 percent consistency,” a study from the University of Oxford revealed last year. The authors looked at every Olympics from 1961 to 2012 and found that the games exceeded their projected price by an average of 179 percent.
This is why so many are balking at Boston's 2024 Olympic bid. There are already huge estimated cost overruns, and that's just over the one year since the Boston Olympic Organizing Committee has been in existence. WBUR, Boston:
The group has faced a skeptical public since its original plan was released in January. The most recent WBUR poll on the issue, from earlier this month, found just 39 percent of Massachusetts residents back the bid, but support would rise for a games that are spread statewide.
* In Russia, they're already slashing costs for the 2018 World Cup: reducing the number of promised hotel rooms and instead building more campsites, and saying that some tourists can sleep on boats.
* Who knows at this point what's going on in Brazil, where notorious cost overruns for the 2016 Olympics have actually sparked riots ion several cities.
It's beginning to look more and more like hosting a huge international sporting event is a no-win proposition fir the host countries. Russia already has Winter Olympics ghost towns, with empty stadiums. Some World Cup venues in Brazil will never be used again.
Japan is noticing, and seems to be the first nation to take this to heart. Chicago may have dodged a bullet by not getting that 2022 World Cup bid that went to Qatar.
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