The full extent of the cost of postponing the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games was spelled out today (Friday) as organisers determined who would account for an extra JPY294bn (£2.1bn/€2.3bn/$2.8bn) needed to stage the events next year.
The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) today attended a three-party meeting with representatives of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) and the Government of Japan, at which the allocation of the additional costs of the Games incurred by their postponement due to COVID-19 was agreed.
The Games were officially postponed on March 24 as the global pandemic took hold, with the Olympics now set to take place from July 23 to August 8, followed by the Paralympics from August 24 to September 5.
Since this point, organisers have been grappling with the vast complexities of reorganising the events, and the costs involved in doing this. In October, Tokyo 2020 announced that it expects to make savings of JPY30bn for the rescheduled events, as a result of a range of cost-cutting measures.
However, the scale of the challenge was outlined today, with the additional cost of postponing the Games by a year estimated at JPY198bn, with additional COVID-19 countermeasures coming in at JPY96bn.
The additional Games costs of JPY198bn will be split three ways, with Tokyo 2020 picking up JPY103bn, TMG JPY80bn and the Japanese government JPY15bn. Tokyo 2020 will not be obligated to contribute to COVID-19 countermeasures, with these costs being split between the TMG (JPY40bn) and Japanese government (JPY56bn).
Before the postponement, the Games were expected to cost around JPY1.35tn, split between Tokyo 2020 (JPY603bn), TMG (JPY597bn) and central government (JPY150bn). Japanese news agency Kyodo said the additional operating costs of JPY198bn are expected to include expenses related to securing Games venues, equipment rental, storage fees, and labour.
The JPY96bn for virus countermeasures is set to go towards health care infrastructure, including a testing system, and procuring equipment for infection control. Tokyo 2020 will reportedly contribute to its share of the additional costs through securing further contributions from sponsors and gathering insurance claims.
Tokyo 2020 said in a statement: “We will continue to work closely with the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Government of Japan and all other related organisations to prepare for a safe and secure Games while aiming at all possible optimisation and streamlining measures to reduce cost.”
An interim summary of COVID-19 countermeasures to be taken during the Games was presented during a meeting held on Wednesday, detailing provisional plans for spectators, athletes, volunteers and Games staff.
Tokyo 2020 said a final decision on the maximum number of spectators permitted at venues will be made by next spring. These figures will reflect the upper limit on spectators at Japanese events in force at the time and will take into account infection levels in Japan and overseas. They will also reflect the outcome of the pilot experiments currently being conducted to determine the consequences of raising the upper limit of spectators.
With regard to spectators from overseas, Tokyo 2020 said it will discuss “appropriate infection countermeasures” considering the safety of both the spectators and of those in the local community. It added: “Concrete measures will be decided by next spring which will reflect domestic and global infection levels at the time, the situation regarding any restrictions in Japan on travel to and from overseas and what sporting events are being held by then.”