Innovative Stadium Design to Boost Rugby

Dublin – Ireland, Nov 16: Preparations for Japan’s hosting of Rugby World Cup 2019 have been further boosted with the selection of a futuristic and innovative design for the redevelopment of Tokyo’s National Stadium, which will be at the very heart of Asia’s first-ever Rugby World Cup.

The Japan Sport Council (JSC) selected the winning design by globally-renowned Zaha Hadid Architects, designers of the striking London 2012 Aquatics Centre, following an international contest to deliver an iconic and innovative 80,000 venue with world-class sporting, fan and hospitality facilities.

Completion of the stadium, which incorporates a full roof and sweeping aerodynamic features that are set to make the venue a top draw for fans attending Rugby’s showcase global event, will be achieved well in advance of its major event debut at Rugby World Cup 2019. It will also be the centerpiece of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games if Tokyo’s bid is successful.

The design fits perfectly with Japan Rugby 2019 and Rugby World Cup Limited’s shared vision of delivering a Rugby World Cup that showcases Asia’s unique tradition and innovation, while generating lasting impact for participation in Japan and throughout Asia.

Japan Rugby 2019 Board member, Tokyo 2020 Executive Board Member and JSC President, Dr. Ichiro Kono said the selection underscored Japan’s commitment to deliver an outstanding Rugby World Cup for teams and fans.

“The winning design has a strong power to deliver our message to the world. From now on we will channel all our energy in turning this design into the best stadia in the history of Rugby World Cup, utilizing Japan’s technological excellence and commitment to achieving the highest standard.”

“Rugby World Cup 2019 will be the biggest sporting event Japan has ever experienced, and it’s very exciting to host it in what will be one of the world’s greatest stadia. As a multi-purpose stadium with cultural and entertaining functions, the new National Stadium will serve an important role in further enriching our sporting culture and if the Tokyo 2020 Olympic bid is successful, the stadium will be the centre stage for two of the world’s three biggest sports events in the space of two years.”

Japan Rugby 2019 President, Chairman & CEO of Canon Inc., Fujio Mitarai said: “This is an exciting milestone in the delivery of Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan. The National Stadium is a symbol of Japan’s rich sporting and Rugby heritage. The plans to deliver an innovative, modern and world-class purpose-built facility in time for Japan 2019 is not only incredibly exciting for us, but also the global Rugby family.”

“Japan Sport Council (JSC) is a major partner in the delivery of Rugby World Cup 2019. We share a common vision of a tournament for Japan, Asia and the global Rugby family and I would like to thank them for their vision, drive and ambition. We look forward to working in partnership with them to deliver an outstanding Rugby World Cup.”

“We are, of course, supportive of the Tokyo 2020 bid as we strongly believe that hosting the Olympics will be good for sport in Japan and great for Rugby World Cup 2019. There is no doubt that if Tokyo 2020 is successful in its bid that Japan 2019 will benefit in a range of areas, not least that the Japan public will be excited about sport.”

Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bernard Lapasset added: “The National Stadium is an iconic venue and it is fantastic that there will be a state-of-the-art and innovative complex with an increased capacity in place for Rugby World Cup 2019.”

“It will be an opportunity to showcase the National Stadium to the world in 2019 and this announcement is an important step forward in planning and preparation as we deliver an event that will benefit Japan, Asia and the global Rugby family.”

“Rugby is blossoming in Asia on and off the field with participation having increased by 19 per cent in the last four years. Japan is the flag-bearer in terms of results on the international stage and participation, but we are committed to working in partnership with the Asian Rugby Football Union, the Japan Rugby Football Union and all tournament stakeholders to ensure that event preparation and successful delivery benefits Rugby throughout Asia.” —- IRB

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