Consortium to expand Tokyo national stadium with 2050 World Cup bid a possibility

July 9 – A consortium led by Japan’s largest mobile phone carrier NTT Docomo is aiming to increase the permanent capacity at Tokyo’s National Stadium from 68,000 to 80,000 as the country reportedly eyes a shot at hosting the FIFA World Cup for a second time.

Currently, FIFA requires the main venue at the 2034 World Cup to hold 80,000 for the opening game and final. It also mandates 60,000-seat semi-final venues.

The company is set to take over operations of the Tokyo venue in April 2025 once it is privatised and plans to add pitch-side seating.

Originally built for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the stadium was intended to be renovated into an 80,000-seat facility specifically for football and rugby after the event.

However, a policy change has left its athletics track and original capacity unchanged.

“We have a plan to set up the number of seats, including some temporary ones, required for the World Cup,” NTT Docomo said, as reported by Japan Today.

The incoming operator is also considering new initiatives such as securing a naming rights deal and increasing the number of events held at the venue. Currently, the stadium is managed by the Japan Sport Council.

Additionally, Japan Today reported that the Japan Football Association has a long-term plan to host the World Cup solo by 2050, following their co-hosting of the 2002 tournament with South Korea.

A consortium comprised of NTT Docomo, the J-League, Maeda Corporation and SMFL Mirai Partners Co Ltd offered 52.8 billion yen ($338 million) for a 30-year operating license, which would significantly reduce the Japanese government’s financial burden for the stadium.

The NTT Docomo-led group’s proposal aligns with the Japan Sports Agency’s goal to transition the stadium to private-sector operation, which could come into effect in the coming months.

The National Stadium will host the 2025 World Athletics Championships from September 13-21.

Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at moc.l1721241262labto1721241262ofdlr1721241262owedi1721241262sni@g1721241262niwe.1721241262yrrah1721241262

 


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