July 07, 2015

TOKYO (AP) The building of a new main stadium for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will go ahead as planned after approval of the revised $2.1 billion construction cost.

The Japan Sports Council, which will operate the main venue, approved the cost at a meeting on Tuesday. The price tag is up $730 million from the original estimate.

Tokyo Olympics organizers hoped the cost could be reduced, but a decision to stick with the original design by British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid means cost can't be cut.

Two massive arches that form the backbone of the stadium's roof, a feature that critics blamed for rising cost, will remain part of the design.

The project will go ahead without the installation of a retractable roof until after the Olympics and 15,000 out of the 80,000 spectator seats will be made temporary in order to cut costs.

The new stadium will replace the iconic National Stadium built in central Tokyo for the 1964 Summer Olympics.

Construction will begin in October and be completed in May, 2019 in time to host the Rugby World Cup. The government is considering ways to generate funding.

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