The one-year postponement of the Tokyo-2020 Olympic Games due to the coronavirus pandemic could cost an additional $2.5 billion over the initial budget of $16.6 billion, an increase of 15%, a Japanese daily disclosed yesterday.
Olympic organizers will officially decide on the amount of the increase in mid-December after discussions with the Japanese government and the city of Tokyo,Yomiuri Shimbunnewspaper reported, citing anonymous sources in charge of organizing the Games.
The world’s biggest sporting event had been postponed due to the pandemic of the new coronavirus. It is scheduled to begin on July 23, 2021.
This delay has resulted in a multitude of new costs, ranging from the need to make new bookings to keeping staff in charge of the organization.
The recent new waves of the epidemic, which affect many countries, have raised doubts about the possibility that they will take place in 2021, but organizers say it will be safe.
The additional cost of 200 billion yen ($2.5 billion), compared to the 1350 billion yen ($11 billion) estimated before the coronavirus, was calculated taking into account a cost reduction due to a simplification of the event.
Organizers have decided to reduce them by approximately $365 million through cost-saving measures such as fewer tickets, fewer mascots and fireworks, and cancelled athlete welcome parties.
However, the new figure does not include the cost of the planned coronavirus control measures and officials hope that they will be paid for by the Japanese government, according to the newspaper.
A senior official said on Friday that test events for the Tokyo Olympics will resume in March and a decision on spectator attendance will be made in the spring.
Organizers and officials are considering a range of measures to combat the virus in the hope that this will enable the Games to take place even without vaccines.
The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, said in mid-November that he was “very confident” about the presence of spectators at the Tokyo Games.
Olympic Committee officials could not be reached immediately for comment.