The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board approved a change of venue for the Tokyo 2020 equestrian events yesterday, according to an FEI press release. The main equestrian site will now be at Baji Koen, the same facility that hosted the Olympic equestrian events in 1964.
The Organizing Committee had originally set the main equestrian site at Dream Island on Tokyo Bay, but Baji Koen, which is owned by the Japan Racing Authority, is more central to the “Olympic cluster,” and using an existing facility is more cost effective.
Baji Koen will host dressage, jumping and the first and last phases of eventing. Cross country will remain at the original location, Sea Forest, which is also known as Umi no Mori, in Tokyo Bay. This site will be shared with rowing, canoe sprint and mountain biking.
This change increases the use of pre-existing facilities from 33 percent in Tokyo’s original host bid to 50 percent. This change combined with venue changes for basketball and canoe slalom will save $1 billion USD from the construction budget for the 2020 Games.
This venue change comes less than three months after the Agenda 2020 recommendations were unanimously approved by the IOC in Monaco last December. The FEI approved the venue change last month and it was presented by the Tokyo Organizing Committee to the IOC Executive Board at its recent meeting in Rio as part of the Tokyo 2020 venue master plan.
“We were more than happy to agree to a venue change that helps Tokyo stay in line with the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said, “and especially as Baji Koen is a beautiful public park that will make a spectacular venue for the 2020 Olympic equestrian events and keeps our sport right at the heart of the Games.