Tokyo Metropolitan Government held a ceremony on October 24th to celebrate the opening of Tokyo Aquatics Center in Koto Ward, Tokyo, which will be the swimming venue for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics next year. Though the facility was completed at the end of February, the ceremony was postponed from the initially scheduled March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The groups of competitive swimmers will start practicing at the arena on 26th. The facility is the last of the newly-built permanent venues completed for the Olympic games.
"I would like to cooperate with the national government and the Organizing Committee to overcome the pandemic and prepare everything we can for the event to be taken place in a safe and secure manner." said Governor of Tokyo Yuriko Koike. She also praised the environmental advantages of the facility, such as water temperature control with geothermal heat. The ceremony also featured "the First Swimming" by top swimmers, paralympic swimmers, and artistic swimmers.
The arena has 65,500 square meters, with one basement floor and four floors above ground. It was designed by Yamashita Sekkei in cooperation with Tange Associates and Ove Arup & Partners Japan. Obayashi Corporation, Toko Electrical Construction, Ergotech, and Tonets were in charge of the implementation design and construction. The construction cost 56.7 billion yen. The capacity is about 15,000 with temporary seats. The metro government will remove the temporary seats in the upper floor and scale down to about 5,000-seat capacity after the games. (2020/10/27)