2020 Summer Olympics

IOC happy with Tokyo after 2020 Olympic Games cost estimate is reduced to over HK$105 billion

A four-party announcement says the cost is less than originally predicted but it can go down further

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 December, 2016, 8:16pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 December, 2016, 10:09pm

Organisers of the Tokyo Olympics estimate the total cost of hosting the 2020 Games will be between 1.6 trillion yen (HK$105 billion) and 1.8 trillion yen.

The official cost estimate announced on Wednesday was below the promised 2 trillion yen cap, while organisers said they will try to come down further.

“This is Version 1,” said Toshiro Muto, chief executive officer of the organising committee. “We will continue our cost-cutting effort toward our Version 2.”

Details of cost-sharing among the three parties – the organising committee, Tokyo and central governments – can be now worked out, Muto said.

The cost estimate includes 590 billion yen to build permanent and temporary venues and other facilities, and 410 billion yen for “soft” costs such as transport, security and other operational expenses. It takes into account 500 billion yen of revenue from sponsorship, ticket sales, licensing and IOC contributions.

It also calls for a back-up budget of 100 yen to 300 billion yen to cover “contingency” costs such as possible anti-heat measures that may be needed to cope with Tokyo’s hot weather, officials said.

International Olympic Committee vice president John Coates had criticised the 2 trillion-yen cap as too high. Coates, via a videoconference link from Australia, joined chief organiser Yoshiro Mori, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike and Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa for Wednesday’s announcement.

Coates praised their effort and said he was “very, very pleased” with the outcome, which is a substantial reduction from an earlier prediction. Coates said he planned to continue working in the four-party framework to make more savings.

Tokyo’s Olympic costs have soared amid Japan’s reconstruction from the earthquake and tsunami in 2011, the year the city launched its bid for the games. Tokyo secured the games in 2013. The trend is expected to continue until the Games, officials said.

A Tokyo government panel has warned the eventual total cost could exceed $30 billion — four times the initial estimate — without drastic cuts. The outspoken governor, Koike, has spearheaded a cost-cutting effort, proposing a review of three costly venues.

The IOC is facing pressure to reduce costs to help entice cities to bid for future games. The $51 billion price tag associated with the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, led numerous cities to drop out of bidding for the 2022 and 2024 Olympics. The IOC is encouraging cities to make maximum use of existing and temporary facilities.

Koike has agreed to keep all three venues — for rowing and canoe sprint, swimming and volleyball — at their planned sites in Tokyo, rather than moving them outside the capital. She is seeking further cost reductions.