The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said securing the venues planned for Tokyo’s 2020 Summer Olympic Games is the key priority for the taskforce established to map out the rescheduled event next year, adding that stakeholders face a “massive undertaking” to complete their mission.
The IOC yesterday (Thursday) held a teleconference with journalists after the announcement on Monday that Tokyo’s Olympic Games, originally scheduled for this summer in the Japanese capital, will now take place from July 23 to August 8, 2021.
Monday’s announcement came after Tokyo 2020 was officially postponed last Tuesday due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto conceded last week that organisers face “massive” additional costs in securing the facilities to deliver a rescheduled Olympic Games.
Muto stressed that it is not just the 41 competition venues that will need to be secured once again, but also thousands of existing contracts spanning the likes of accommodation, security and ticketing. Tokyo 2020 has since formed a ‘Here We Go’ taskforce to deliver the rescheduled Olympics and the IOC’s Olympic Games executive director, Christophe Dubi, yesterday said securing these venues, plus the Athletes’ Village, is the main goal for the body.
Challenges will include overcoming the fact that many sports venues will already have events booked in during the new Games window, while parts of the Village have already been sold off as condominiums. Dubi (pictured) said the IOC is seeking to have some of the venues guaranteed “in a matter of weeks”, but admitted that the whole process will be a “massive undertaking”.
It is yet to be decided how the massive costs involved in rescheduling the Games will be accounted for. It is estimated that the postponement will have already cost $2bn (£1.63bn/€1.85bn). Japanese taxpayers will reportedly foot most of this cost, adding to their share of an official budget of $12.6bn. The IOC was contributing $1.3bn to the operating budget.
“What’s being recognised is that there will be additional costs for the Tokyo Organising Committee and additional costs for the IOC and Olympic family,” Dubi said. “We’re looking into those with great detail. We are talking tens of thousands of lines of budget that need to be reviewed.”
At the beginning of March, the Tokyo 2020 organising committee announced that all new permanent venues for the Games had been completed. The Tokyo Aquatics Centre was the final permanent venue to be completed on schedule at the end of February.