Olympics

Organizers unsure if IOC's $650 million pledge will cover cost of rescheduled Olympics

by Jason Coskrey

Staff writer

While the International Olympic Committee said on Thursday it was committing $650 million toward expenditures for the delayed 2020 Tokyo Games, organizers are not ready to say whether the amount would be enough.

"In terms of the additional costs (caused by the postponement), it's still under heavy evaluation and we are not quite to the point of making an estimate," Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto said when asked during an online news conference on Friday afternoon.

Muto said the IOC did not provide a breakdown of how the money was to be allocated. He also mentioned it was the IOC that decided the amount.

"As to why it's $650 million, you will have to ask the IOC."

The decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics one year was made on March 24 amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Summer Olympics will now take place next year from July 23-Aug. 8 and be followed by the Paralympics, which will run from Aug. 24-Sept. 5.

Since the postponement of the games, the question of the additional costs that will arise as a result, and who will bear the burden, has been a central issue.

"As to the total amount of the additional costs, right now it isn't clear," Muto said. "To the question of how is this $650 million to be spent, this is not clear at this point either."

On Thursday, IOC President Thomas Bach said the organization had set aside $800 million to help cover the costs. In addition to the $650 million toward the operation of the 2020 games, $150 million is slated to be part of an aid package for international federations and national Olympic committees.

"The IOC has to organize postponed Olympic Games for the first time ever, and has to help its stakeholders come through this global crisis," Bach said in a statement. "This new situation will need all our solidarity, creativity, determination and flexibility. We shall all need to make sacrifices and compromises.

"Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures. This situation requires every one of us to do our part, and this applies to all of us, including the IOC. With today’s financial plans, we are addressing these needs.”

Tokyo 2020 organizers and the IOC are also looking for things that can be scaled back or cut from the games to help reduce costs.

"If we commit to doing everything possible, then many items must come under scrutiny," Muto said.

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