The cost of the coronavirus-postponed Tokyo Olympics will be slashed by $280 million, event organisers said Wednesday. In an attempt to conduct a scaled-back Games, cuts will be there to everything from staffing to pyrotechnics.
The final price of the event was officially budgeted at 1.3 trillion yen ($12 billion) before the ongoing pandemic. It remains unclear because additional expenses caused by the postponement are yet to be made public.
Plans for a lower-key Olympics were unveiled last month, with cost-cutting measures. This includes fewer free tickets, scrapping athlete welcome ceremonies, and savings on banners, mascots and meals.
“This work will help to create a model for future global events including forthcoming Games amid the new normal in which we now live,” organisers said in a statement after a presentation to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board.
They said they would calculate the updated budget by the end of 2020. It would include the additional costs linked to postponement and coronavirus safety-measures.
Tokyo Olympics set to take place from July 23, 2021
The 2020 Games got pushed back a year after the deadly virus spread COVID-19 around the globe. After a postponement, the Games are now set to open on July 23, 2021. But the delay has thrown up a plethora of new costs in front of the organising committee, from re-booking venues to transportation.
Moreover, with many countries experiencing second or even third waves of infection, there have been doubts about whether the event can be staged. Amidst the current testing situation, the organisers and Olympic officials insist it can be done safely.
“We’re aware some people think that it should be cancelled. But if we’re not able to overcome Covid-19, is there anything positive about the situation? I think we can all agree that this is not a desirable situation.” Tokyo Olympics 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto said Wednesday.
The organisers and officials are also considering a list of possible virus countermeasures that they hope will make it feasible to hold the Games, even if a vaccine is not available.