National

Tokyo Olympics organizers settle on price tag for 2020 Games, eye further cost-cutting

by Andrew McKirdy

Staff Writer

Tokyo Olympic organizers on Wednesday slapped a first official price tag of ¥1.6 to ¥1.8 trillion on the 2020 Games.

But International Olympic Committee Vice President John Coates warned that the IOC is “still keen to see further savings.”

“We will work hard to reduce that number further,” said Tokyo 2020 organizing committee President Yoshiro Mori. “We have calculated numbers from exact studies but this is not the final number.

“The IOC is asking us to reduce that number, so we will do that. But we don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s still more than three years until the games start.”

The total budget includes ¥500 billion to cover the organizing committee’s expenditure. That figure, however, is evenly matched by revenue from sponsors, licensing and tickets sales, making the total cost to the public purse ¥1.1 trillion to ¥1.3 trillion.

Around 10 percent of the organizing committee’s budget is expected to go to the Paralympic Games.

“I think you have to take away from that figure the revenue-neutral OCOG (Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games) budget,” Coates said by video link from Sydney. “We are very happy that the $4.7 billion on the expenditure on the games is covered. It’s privately funded.

“I wouldn’t put a figure on what savings we can find. We need to get into a more detailed study of transport, security, games operations. We need to do more work there, but the feeling we have is that there are savings to be found there.”

Last month, organizers set a budget ceiling of ¥2 trillion, only for Coates to warn that the IOC “has not agreed to that amount of money.”

The details of which public bodies will pick up which parts of the ¥1.1 trillion to ¥1.3 trillion tab, which includes a construction budget of ¥590 billion, have yet to be decided.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly and the national government are the main stakeholders, but Olympic events will be held in several prefectures around Japan.

“I think we’ve been able to reach quite an important milestone,” said Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike. “Preparations will proceed and we will begin to see more specifics — who will be responsible for which role and who will bear the expenses other than those borne by the organizing committee. We will of course try to identify further cost reductions.”

The budget was delivered at the second meeting of the four-party talks between the IOC, the organizing committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly and the national government.

Coates claimed that the talks, which were set up in the wake of Koike’s decision to review several competition venues, have saved over ¥40 billion since they started in November.

“This is the first step, and I think we need to work on this to have more budget cuts,” said Olympics minister Tamayo Marukawa. “We hope we can have more four-party meetings and continue this conversation.”

The total construction budget for the games has been set at ¥680 billion. Permanent structures will account for ¥350 billion, while temporary facilities will cost ¥280 billion and energy ¥50 billion.

The total service budget, which covers areas such transport, security and technology, has been set at ¥820 billion. The contingency budget is ¥1 trillion to ¥3 trillion.

The four-party meeting also confirmed that a new venue will be built to host the volleyball competition in Tokyo’s Ariake district. Koike had previously suggested using the existing Yokohama Arena, but now plans to use construction of the new Ariake Arena as impetus to redevelop the surrounding area.

“We’re not taking just that venue as a final point,” said Koike. “We want to redevelop that whole area. This is not just about cost. We’re considering this as an investment for the future.”

Coronavirus banner