Another world-class facility has officially opened for the Games.
The Ariake Arena was inaugurated yesterday in a ceremony blending sports, Japanese culture and entertainment, attended by more than 3,000 spectators.
The venue will host Volleyball at the Olympic Games and Wheelchair Basketball during the Paralympic Games.
KOIKE Yuriko, Tokyo Governor, HASHIMOTO Seiko, Minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, and YAMASHITA Yasuhiro, Japanese Olympic Committee President were all in attendance during the grand opening.
Both Japan's national volleyball team and wheelchair basketball team showed their sports skills in the brand-new court. A traditional Japanese shishi-mai lion dance performance took place and the event concluded with a J-Pop concert.
The Ariake Arena was constructed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and was completed in December 2019.
Accessible to all
The venue has an iconic design, with a concave roof reducing the indoor space in order to minimise needs for air conditioning and lightning. The venue also has solar panels, and geothermal heat equipment to help reduce the facility's carbon footprint.
The Ariake Arena comprises a main arena and a sub arena and will have a seating capacity of 15,000 at Games-time.
The layout of the venue is based on the Tokyo 2020 Accessibility Guidelines, with the facility designed to be accessible to all, including the elderly, people with impairments, parents with young children and those with guide dogs.
It has universally-designed toilets and wheelchair-accessible seats in areas designed with enough height difference between the rows of seating to ensure that those in wheelchairs can see clearly, even if spectators in front of them stand up.
After the Games, it will become a new hub of entertainment, sports and culture for the city of Tokyo. It will reopen in August 2021 and will then be operated by the TOKYO ARIAKE ARENA INC., a new special purpose company which has concluded Japan's first ever concession agreement with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. The website of the arena is: https://ariake-arena.tokyo/ (Japanese only).
Volleyball events will see both men's and women's tournaments will see 12 teams competing. There will be 16 days of competitions - with the men's final on Saturday 8 August and the women's final on Sunday 9 August, the last day of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The venue is also set to host the Wheelchair Basketball tournaments during the Paralympic Games.
The Volleyball tournaments will have a nostalgic feeling for volleyball fans as the sport for both men and women appeared at the Olympic Games for the first time at the Tokyo 1964 Games. Japan's men's team took the bronze medal and the women's team surprised the world by winning gold.
The inauguration of yet another venue marks a great achievement and shows the readiness of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee for hosting the Olympic Games in just 173 days.
The last permanent venue under construction, the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, will be delivered this month.