National Stadium's Conversion To Soccer - Rugby Venue Set

National Stadium's conversion to soccer-rugby venue set

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan's new national stadium will be converted to a venue for soccer, rugby and American football following its use as the centerpiece of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, an informed source said Monday.

The facility, which is currently under construction, will be available for use in its new guise from the second half of 2022 once the plan is formally approved at a meeting of relevant Cabinet ministers on Tuesday.

Based on a Sports Agency proposal, there is a strong possibility the stadium's operating rights will be sold to the private sector for a period of 10 to 30 years. The Japan Sport Council, which currently administers the facility, is also looking into selling naming rights -- including those of other periphery venues such as Yoyogi National Gymnasium.

The converted national stadium, with a capacity of around 80,000, would be a boon to Japan's chances of hosting soccer's premier showcase, the FIFA World Cup.