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Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Post-Olympic venues confront fate as white elephants

Resurgent pandemic stymies plans to attract major competitions

The National Stadium, which can seat 68,000 spectators, is estimated to cost an annual $22 million to maintain. (Photo by Hirofumi Yamamoto)

TOKYO -- With the Summer Olympics over, the National Stadium and other taxpayer-funded venues put up for the Games face the challenge of breaking even and not becoming financial burdens.

The largest is the rebuilt National Stadium, which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies as well as track and field events. The 156.9 billion yen ($1.4 billion) stadium can hold 68,000 spectators. Maintenance costs $22 million a year, and operating rights are expected to be sold once the Olympics and Paralympics end.

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