Olympics delay to add $2.6b to initial cost of $17.4b

Games panel to discuss with the Japanese and Tokyo metropolitan govts on splitting the cost

Boats towing the giant Olympic rings, which were removed for maintenance, at the waterfront area in Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo in August. The shift to next year has caused logistical headaches, but is far less painful than cancelling it, with sponso
Boats towing the giant Olympic rings, which were removed for maintenance, at the waterfront area in Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo in August. The shift to next year has caused logistical headaches, but is far less painful than cancelling it, with sponsors, broadcasters and others having invested billions of dollars into the world's foremost sporting event. PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO • The organising committee for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics has estimated the additional cost for postponing the Games to next summer to be about 200 billion yen (S$2.6 billion), Yomiuri Shimbun has reported.

The Games' original cost was 1.35 trillion yen (S$17.4 billion) and the committee will discuss the plan with the Japanese and Tokyo metropolitan governments and decide next month how to split the cost, the newspaper said yesterday, citing unidentified Olympic officials.

The Tokyo Games, which are now set for July 23 to Aug 8 next year, were delayed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the first time an Olympics was postponed.

Yomiuri said members of the organising committee had initially voiced concern that the extra cost could run to as much as 300 billion yen, but agreed with the International Olympic Committee to simplify aspects of the Games to save money.

There will be fewer free tickets, while athlete welcome ceremonies have been scrapped, with savings on banners, mascots and meals.

The additional costs also take into account staff salaries, the rebooking of venues, transportation, as well as the introduction of new systems for refunding tickets.

However, they do not include counter-measures to slow down the spread of Covid-19, as these are primarily being handled and paid for by the Japanese government, Yomiuri said.

The shift to next year has caused logistical headaches, but is far less painful than cancelling it, with sponsors, broadcasters and others having invested billions of dollars into the world's foremost sporting event.

Officials of the Tokyo Olympics organising committee could not be reached for comment, but a senior official said last week that Games test events would resume in March and a decision on fan attendance will be made in the spring.

The 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro cost 43.3 billion reais (S$10.9 billion), while the 2012 edition in London cost £8.92 billion (S$15.9 billion). The 2008 Beijing Olympics is still the most expensive Summer Games on record at US$40 billion (S$53.5 billion).

  • The cost of hosting Olympics in the past

    $10.9b - 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games

    $15.9b - 2012 London Games

    $53.5b - 2008 Beijing Games

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS, BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 30, 2020, with the headline 'Olympics delay to add $2.6b to initial cost of $17.4b'. Subscribe