Tokyo Unveils Plans for Massive Aquatic Center, Spacious Water Polo Venue

SwimSwam.com recently highlighted the stunning capacity at the aquatic center proposed by the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Committee. The purpose-built Olympic Swim Centre will hold 20,000 swim fans, a nearly 3,000 seat improvement over London’s well attended building.

Water polo spectators won’t find the same spaciousness at their sport’s venue in Tokyo, though it too will contain more seats than London’s. As stated in the Tokyo organizing committee’s bid report:

Japan’s first dedicated Waterpolo venue will accommodate up to 6,500 people. Located in the vicinity of the Olympic Aquatic Centre for Swimming, Diving and Synchronised Swimming, the venue will be a temporary facility in deference to location and legacy considerations.

In 2016, water polo competition is planned for Rio’s Maria Lenk Aquatic Center, a facility built for the 2007 Pan Am Games, and which is claimed to facilitate 8,000 fans.

In 2012 London’s temporary facility held 5,000, and attendance at the gold medal matches was only several hundred short of capacity according to a knowledgable European source.

The most recent Fina World Championships finals in Barcelona were originally planned for the facility at Sant Jordi, which has a seating capacity of over 12,000, but were moved just months prior to competition to the Piscines Picornell and its more modest 3,000 seats. Organizers cited logistical reasons for the change but a person with knowledge of the competition said that slower than expected ticket sales were likely the cause.