Chiba mayor says IR bid decision to come before end of March

Chiba Mayor Toshihito Kumagai stated on Tuesday that his city’s decision on whether or not to go forward with an IR bid will be announced by the end of March 2020 at the latest, which is the first time that he has provided a time frame.

“If you calculate backwards from the national IR schedule, there’s not that much time remaining,” he explained.

Chiba has recently concluded an RFI process that garnered eight IR proposals for the Makuhari district. Two of these proposals came from local groups within the city, and the six from other Japanese or international IR operators.

The investment proposals were all in the US$5 billion to US$7 billion range, notably less than the proposals for Yokohama’s Yamashita Pier location. The operators estimated annual visitation between 20 million and 40 million people.

Most of the initiative in Chiba has come from the private sector. Both Chiba Mayor Kumagai as well as Chiba Governor Kensaku Morita have so far adopted a cautious stance about these initiatives.