Sea Forest Waterway
Venue Capacity: 16,000
Year Constructed: 2019
The Sea Forest Waterway, located in the Tokyo Bay Zone cluster of Japan, will host both rowing and canoe sprint events during the 2020 Olympics. The venue officially opened on June 16, 2019, after its construction by the Japanese Metropolitan Government as a permanent center for water sports. After the Olympics, around 30 competitions will be held at the site annually with about 350,000 visitors expected. However, the venue is likely to have a yearly deficit of about $1.5 million after the Olympics because of the facility's high construction cost in proportion to the lack of usage following the Games.
The West and East Dams separate the rowing course from the Tokyo Bay at each end of the course. The waterfront venue is protected from the effect of waves, currents, and tides by wave absorbers and the West and East Dams. Pumping systems will also be used to prevent the tidal level from affecting competition. The site also offers views of the Tokyo Bay as well as the Tokyo Gate Bridge to athletes and spectators.
The venue includes start facilities, a timing hut, a boathouse, grandstands, and a finishing tower, which boats will go through at the conclusion of each race. The race course is a rectangular 200 x 2,000m.
The sport of rowing is growing in popularity in Japan with most of the main universities having a collegiate rowing team. Similar to the United States, Japan's universities compete in long-standing regattas, although these boat races began more recently than those in Europe and the U.S. One of the most popular of these regattas is the Wasedo-Keio race, known in Japan as "The Regatta", on the Sumida River in the heart of Tokyo. The 89th edition of this race will be held on April 14, 2020.