The head of the Alliance of Japan Top Leagues (JTL) on Wednesday called for the construction of the Ariake Arena volleyball venue for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to go ahead as planned.
Ariake Arena is among a number of new venues that have come under scrutiny by a games cost review panel set up by Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is looking to chop ¥20 billion from the 2014 estimate for Tokyo 2020 after examining the budgets for the planned swimming and volleyball venues.
Among ideas, it is exploring the possibility of renovating an already existing venue for volleyball at Tokyo Big Sight in Koto Ward.
But JTL chief Saburo Kawabuchi emphasized the need for a new venue for future activities.
“I’m convinced of the absolute necessity of building an arena we can boast about to the world,” Kawabuchi told a news conference.
The JTL, which is made up of 13 leagues of team-based ball (or puck, in the case of ice hockey) sports, presented a petition supporting construction of the stadium to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Tokyo 2020 Olympics organizers.
Yuko Mitsuya, head of the Japan Basketball Association, said that cutting costs was not the only aspect of the games that should be debated.
“A really big facility is a must for pro leagues,” said Mitsuya. “(After the Olympics) basketball also can utilize the venue.”