The one-year postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, due to the coronavirus pandemic, could cost an additional $2.5 billion over the original budget of $16.6 billion, an increase of 15%, a Japanese daily revealed on Sunday.
The organizers of the Olympics will officially decide on the amount of this increase from mid-December after discussions with the Japanese government and the city of Tokyo, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported, citing anonymous sources in charge of organizing the Games.
The biggest sporting event in the world had been postponed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. It is scheduled to begin on July 23, 2021.
This delay created a multitude of new costs, ranging from the need to make new reservations to keeping staff in charge of the organization.
The recent new waves of the epidemic, which are affecting many countries, have cast doubt on whether it will take place in 2021 but organizers say it can take place safely.
The additional cost of 200 billion yen ($ 2.5 billion), compared to the 1.350 billion yen ($11 billion) estimated before the coronavirus, was calculated taking into account a reduction in costs caused by a simplification of the event.
The organizers have in fact decided to reduce them by around 365 million dollars, by taking savings measures such as a reduction in the number of tickets offered, fewer mascots and fireworks, canceled athlete welcome parties.
This new figure does not include the cost of the planned coronavirus control measures, however, and officials hope they will be paid for by the Japanese government, according to the newspaper.
On Friday, a senior official said on Friday that test events for the Tokyo Olympics will resume in March and a decision on spectator attendance will be made in the spring.
Organizers and officials are considering a whole host of measures to tackle the virus in the hope that this will allow the Games to go ahead even without vaccines.
The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, said mid-November “very confident” about the attendance of spectators at the Tokyo Games.