Osaka city and Osaka prefecture will officially announce the schedule for selection of its IR operator today after confirming the schedule to ensure selection is complete by Spring 2020, according to The Nikkei. Screening for operators will begin this Fall.
When he was still governor, Mayor Ichiro Matsui said the government would like to launch its public offering for concepts in Spring.
Osaka prefecture and city will collect proposals from operators that match their criteria in August this year and will also participate in discussions with operators. If all goes well, the final decision on the operator will be made in Spring 2020.
The prefecture and city are preparing for the 2025 World Expo and it is hopeful that an IR will open in 2024 before the event.
It has been reported that construction will begin in April 2022, but IAG has learned that major operators believe construction will take three years so there is a good possibility the start will need to be brought forward.
According to the IR Fundamentals Plan announced in February this year, the prefecture and city government intend an investment of JPY930 billion (US$8.3 billion) in total, attracting 15 million visitors a year with annual sales projections of JPY480 billion.