After it was revealed that the 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium would not be ready in time for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, Japan announces Yokohama Stadium will host the final


While their rugby team is still basking in the glory of upsetting South Africa last weekend, the organisers of the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup have been going through something of a stadium crisis.

World Rugby said this week that the 70,000-seat Yokohama Stadium, in Tokyo, will host the final of the competition after it was announced that a showpiece 80,000-seat national stadium would not be ready in time for the tournament.

The stadium is supposed to be the centrepiece of Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic Games plans, but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently scrapped the plans due to escalating costs.

The opening ceremony and first match will now be hosted at the 48,000-seat Tokyo Stadium, home of Tokyo FC, as World Rugby approved a roadmap of Japan’s revised plans.

“We are also confident that the selection of the Tokyo Stadium for the opening match and the final in the International Stadium Yokohama will provide a spectacular backdrop for the tournament across Japan, throughout Asia and around the world,” the Japan Rugby 2019 Organising Committee CEO, Akira Shimazu, said.

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World Rugby chairman, Bernard Lapasset, said in a statement: “These are exciting, unprecedented times for Japan Rugby and this revised roadmap reinforces and reflects the shared vision and mission to deliver a Rugby World Cup that will be great for Japan, great for Asia and great for Rugby.

“We would like to thank our partners in Japan for their committed response to the stadium issue and all of the work they have undertaken, and in particular the Prime Minister of Japan and his government, Japan Sports Council and the Governor of Tokyo and Mayor of Yokohama for their full support.”