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Tokyo’s closed-door Olympics ‘to come in under budget’

Organisers of the postponed 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo are expecting the cost of the events to come in at least ¥150bn (£999.4m/€1.17bn/$1.32bn) less than projected after they were mostly held behind closed doors due to COVID-19.

Japanese news agency Kyodo, citing officials with knowledge of the matter, said organisers are believed to be confident that the final price tag, divided between the organising committee, and the central and Tokyo metropolitan governments, will come in at around the ¥1.5tn mark.

In December 2020, the official cost of Tokyo’s rescheduled Olympics rose to ¥1.64tn after the organising committee for the Games released its revised budget. The Tokyo 2020 organising committee unveiled its ‘version five’ budget in conjunction with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) and the Government of Japan.

Heading into the Olympics, Hokkaido and Fukushima became the latest Japanese prefectures to ban fan attendance at the Games. The latest decisions came after it was earlier announced that fans would not be able to attend the majority of venues in Tokyo after a state of emergency was declared in the Japanese capital.

Olympics Minister Tamayo Marukawa confirmed that the escalating COVID-19 situation in Tokyo meant that no spectators would be permitted in the capital and the wider metropolitan area during the Olympics, which ran from July 23 to August 8.

Only minimal fan attendance was seen during the Games, which although Kyodo said wiped out a significant income stream through ticket sales, also helped to cut costs through reducing labour costs and other outlays.

The three organisers are believed to be seeking to agree a deal on how to split the total cost of the Games by the end of the year. The Games was initially estimated to cost ¥734bn when Tokyo first made its bid for the event back in 2013.

Image: Dick Thomas Johnson/CC BY 2.0/Edited for size