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Tokyo Olympics organisers to cut costs by US$283 million

Tokyo Olympics organisers to cut costs by US$283 million
October 8, 2020

The Organising Committee of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics (Tokyo 2020) has announced plans for savings of 30 billion yen (US$283 million) for the rescheduled Games, introducing drastic cost-cutting measures.

Postponed to 2021 because of the Coronavirus pandemic, organisers now plan a scaled-back Games, with cuts including fewer free tickets, scrapping athlete welcome ceremonies, and savings on banners, mascots and pyrotechnics.

From the announcement of the postponement in March, organisers have been seeking means to reduce the Games budget, which had grown to 1.3 trillion yen (US$12 billion) and have been assessing options for the simplification and optimisation measures.

However, the final cost of the Games still remains unclear as additional expenses caused by the postponement have not yet been made public.

In a statement released after a presentation to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board yesterday, the organisers stated "Tokyo 2020 believes that this work will help to create a model for future global events including forthcoming Games amid the new normal in which we now live."

They went on to advise that an updated budget, including additional costs linked to postponement and Coronavirus counter-measures, would be released by the end of the year.

At last month’s IOC Coordination Commission meeting, Tokyo 2020 and the IOC agreed on more than 50 items of simplification and optimisation to deliver Games fit for a post COVID-19 world.

The primary items are: review of specifications of temporary overlays and other equipment at venues, and reduction of service levels; reductions in the look of the Games in venues and in the Olympic and Paralympic Village; optimisation of the Olympic Torch Relay operations; encouraging stakeholders to optimise their delegation working in Tokyo; and optimisation of staffing plans for the Organising Committee.

Japan’s Kyodo news agency reports that the biggest planned saving of around 15 billion yen is through scaling down temporary operations spaces and lighting at venues. Reducing Games decorations at venues and at the athletes’ village by 30% to 40% will account for one billion yen, while reductions in staffing and vehicles for the Torch Relay should save 800 million yen.

Cutting the planned delegation of around 50,000 non-athlete participants by some 10% to 15% will bring savings of around one billion yen, while streamlining Tokyo 2020’s staffing plan could save three billion yen.

Organisers have made clear that at the very least it will be a more sober event than past Olympics, with Tokyo 2020 Chief Executive, Toshiro Muto stating “as we're in the Covid-19 world, are we in a world where the flashy event that we used to think of as normal before is still suitable? We've reached a turning point in this regard.”   

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8th June 2020 - National Olympic Committees to benefit from US$11.7 million of Tokyo 2020 funding to cover Coronavirus costs

7th June 2020 - Tokyo considering scaled down version for 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games

31st March 2020 - IOC confirms new dates for Tokyo Olympics

26th March 2020 - Tokyo Olympics organisers face ‘massive’ facilities costs for rescheduled Games

25th March 2020 - Coronavirus fears sees Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics postponed to 2021

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16th March 2020 - Olympic organisers announce on time completion of all Tokyo 2020 venues

10th March 2020 - No spectators to attend Tokyo Olympic Games torch lighting ceremony

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