Tokyo Games cost double the original bid

TOKYO • The Tokyo 2020 Olympics, postponed to last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, cost 1.42 trillion yen (S$14.5 billion), double the figure quoted in the city's bid for the Games, according to a final budget report.

The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee held its last meeting late on Tuesday.

Tokyo 2020 was held a year later than planned - the first Olympics postponed in peacetime - and spectators were banned from nearly all events, which were held under strict Covid-19 countermeasures.

The Games cost twice the 734 billion yen that the Tokyo Games organisers had predicted in their bid to the International Olympic Committee in 2013, but less than the final pre-Games budget unveiled in December 2020.

Despite losing out on ticket sales, organisers saved some cash by simplifying events and avoiding the cost of hosting millions of fans.

The organising committee, which disbands at the end of this month, said the event's final cost was 200 billion yen less than projected in its pre-Games budget in 2020 and 29 billion yen less than the final slimmed-down costs prediction in December last year.

Tokyo had won the Olympics in 2013, offering a "safe pair of hands" and with a substantial amount of money already in the bank.

However, costs swelled leading up to the Games, including for the rebuilding of the new National Stadium, used for the opening and closing ceremonies as well as track and field events.

Costs also surged in connection with postponing the Games by a year and for measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus when the event was finally held from July 23 to Aug 8 last year.

"In the face of unprecedented difficulties, all the parties concerned worked together tremendously for the success of the Games and for carrying it off safely and securely," Seiko Hashimoto, the organising committee's president, told a news conference on Tuesday.

"It's up to everyone involved in this event to pass on the legacy of the Tokyo Olympics to the next generation."

Sapporo, capital of the northernmost island of Hokkaido, is bidding to host the 2030 Winter Games.

A March survey of Sapporo and the surrounding region showed that a majority of the public are in favour of holding the event.

Officials have ruled out holding a public referendum on the 2030 bid.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2022, with the headline Tokyo Games cost double the original bid. Subscribe