On Tuesday afternoon, the Osaka city government published a recruitment announcement for a company that would be employed to offer advice on the process of establishing an IR at Yumeshima. This is a concrete step leading towards the eventual selection of an operator for the city’s IR licensing bid.
The IR advisory firm, which will be selected early next year, will have its contract run from April 2018 until February 2021, and will receive a total payment of more than US$3.4 million.
“Based on the premise of the establishment of an IR at Yumeshima,” the city’s announcement reads, “the advisor will handle development conditions, project implementation, a review of the public offering process; and will advise on the recruitment and selection of the IR operator through the period until the operator’s contract is signed.”
Built into the timeline is the assumption that the IR Implementation Bill will indeed be enacted in the next Diet session, ending in June 2018.
Osaka’s basic expectation is that they will designate their IR operator partner during the course of FY2019, and that the national government will select the locations to be licensed to build IRs during the course of FY2020. The city aims to open the doors of Japan’s first major urban IR sometime in 2024.