The Japanese public may continue paying up to around 1 billion yen ($7.5 million) in annual maintenance costs for Tokyo's National Stadium after its planned privatization, the Japan Sports Agency revealed Wednesday.

The liability is outlined under a new policy concerning the prospective private operation of the stadium, which served as the main athletics venue at last year's Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Previously planned for the second half of 2022, the agency now hopes to commence the privatization of the stadium from fiscal 2024 under a 30-year arrangement.

Photo shows Tokyo's National Stadium on June 17, 2022. (Kyodo)

With the Tokyo metropolitan government and other parties owed around 1.1 billion yen in annual rent for the land on which the stadium is built, there are concerns that the central government will shoulder a yearly bill exceeding 2 billion yen.

Plans to remove the running track and convert the stadium exclusively for ball sports, such as soccer and rugby, will be officially reviewed under the new policy. The track will remain in place for Tokyo's hosting of the 2025 World Athletics Championship.

Expenses for the stadium in 2022 are estimated at roughly 1.84 billion yen, excluding land rent, compared to an income of around 550 million yen.

The National Stadium has been beset by budgetary problems since its inception ahead of the Tokyo Games, which were postponed by one year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

An initial plan by late architect Zaha Hadid was revised and later scrapped, to be replaced by the existing design, amid a public outcry over its massive price tag.

Related coverage:

Ex-Tokyo Olympic exec in bribery scandal released on 80 mil. yen bail

Tokyo Games cost $13 bil., 20% more than organizers reported

Sapporo mayor to halt 2030 Olympic bid promotion, reconsider tactics