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New Meets Old As Tokyo’s Completed Olympic Stadium Joins Heritage Venues

By Todd Kortemeier | Dec. 17, 2019, 12:01 a.m. (ET)


The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 run July 24-Aug. 9, 2020, with the Paralympic Games following Aug. 25-Sept. 6, and while they may be months away there’s a lot to learn on your quest to becoming the ultimate fan. Each Tuesday leading up to the Games, TeamUSA.org will present a nugget you should read about – from athletes to watch to storylines to follow to Japanese culture and landmarks – as part of “Tokyo 2020 Tuesday.” Follow along on social media with the hashtag #Tokyo2020Tuesday.


As the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 blend old and new, nowhere is that more evident than with the gleaming new Olympic Stadium officially completed Monday.

Unlike the other venues in central Tokyo to be reused from the Olympic Games Tokyo 1964, the stadium is the one newly-constructed venue, though it stands on a familiar spot. Japan’s first Olympic Stadium, known as National Stadium, was demolished in 2015 to make way for the new ground.

In addition to hosting the opening and closing ceremonies and track and field for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games—plus Olympic soccer—the stadium will be a lasting legacy for Tokyo just like its other famous enduring venues such as Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium and Nippon Budokan. 

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Those venues form part of the Games’ Heritage Zone in central Tokyo. The Games also include the Tokyo Bay Zone just to the southwest and around Tokyo Bay encompassing Chiba. Venues in the Tokyo Bay Zone will almost be totally new with most of them still under construction.

The first test for the Olympic Stadium will come on Jan. 1, when it will host the final of the Emperor’s Cup, Japan’s version of the U.S. Open Cup or England’s FA Cup open to every soccer team in the Japan Football Association. Like its predecessor, Olympic Stadium will become a fixture in Japanese sports long after its Olympic duties are over.

Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.


The new Olympic Stadium for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games on Dec. 15, 2019 in Tokyo.