Ariake Arena unveiled as volleyball prepares for return to Olympic birthplace
Lausanne, Switzerland, February 4, 2020 - The Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) staged a grand opening ceremony last weekend to unveil the brand new Ariake Arena, host venue of the Olympic volleyball event at this year's Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
The Ariake Arena is a new waterfront venue which, from 25 July to 9 August, will become home to 24 of the world's best national volleyball teams. The arena has a seating capacity of up to 15,000 spectators and is sure to be packed throughout the Games as stars compete for a place on the podium and a chance to write their names into the history books.
The Arena has been designed with the spectator in mind and is accessible to all, including the elderly, people with impairments, people with guide dogs and parents with young children. The venue also includes solar panels and geothermal heat equipment to reduce the facility's carbon footprint.
Having first appeared on the Olympic Programme at Tokyo 1964, volleyball is once again set to be one of the most eagerly anticipated sports at this year's Games.
The ceremony was opened with the traditional snip of the red ribbon by the Tokyo Governor, Yuriko Koike, who was joined by the Minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, Seiko Hashimoto, and President of the Japanese Olympic Committee, Yasuhiro Yamashita. Among the distinguished guests were iconic Tokyo 2020 mascot duo Miraitowa and Someity, who posed for photos with members of the crowd, who had gathered outside to witness the opening.
After the new stadium was unveiled, Japan's national volleyball team enthralled more than 3,000 lucky spectators, who became the first members of public to step into the venue. The team offered an impressive volleyball demonstration, whetting the appetite of Japan's passionate volleyball fan base.
FIVB President Dr Ary S. Graça F stated:
"This is another important milestone as preparations continue in the build up to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Our athletes are training hard for this iconic event and I am pleased that they will get to experience another world class venue. With Japan having a great volleyball tradition and Tokyo being the Olympic birthplace of our sport, I am sure we will enjoy an electric atmosphere at the packed Ariake Arena.
"I would like to congratulate the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games for creating such a fantastic arena, which I believe will inspire the next generation of volleyball athletes in Japan."
Ahead of the Games, Ariake Arena will host its first-ever volleyball event, as four teams per gender are set to test the world-class facilities from 21to 26 April, just a few months before the Games.
Last month's Continental Tokyo Volleyball Qualification 2020 events confirmed the final volleyball line-up set to compete at this year's Games. A total of 12 teams per gender qualified and have been split into two single round-robin pools of six. At the end of each pool, the top four will advance to the quarterfinals for a chance to secure Olympic glory.