Athletes, coaches, fans, and others involved have had time to slowly process what the delay means for training, preparation, and goal-setting. However, more widespread ripple effects are just beginning to be realized, as costs are mounting related to the historic schedule change.
IOC President Thomas Bach said yesterday that his committee is ‘preparing to spend up to $800 million for extra costs necessitated by the one-year postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.’ (Kyodo News)
Of the $800 million estimate, up to $650 million represents the IOC‘s share of organizing the postponed Olympics, while $150 million would be in support for international federations and National Olympic Committees, as well as other agencies.
In light of this, Bach said that the monetary situation ‘requires compromises, requires sacrifices by everybody.’ For instance, Bach said that the IOC would be extremely open-minded about cost-cutting measures, including expenditures on hospitality.
“We are leaving no stone unturned in this respect to reduce the cost while maintaining the spirit of the games and the quality of the sports competition. (Once we get) around these principles, there are no taboos and everything is on the table and this also includes the service level for the stakeholders of the Olympic movement.”
Bach also stated that any cost-saving measures enacted here would be looked at for the next Summer Olympic Games set for Paris 2024.
“We are already in discussion with Paris 2024 on a wider scope about what can be transferred from the new measures we are taking in Tokyo,” he said. “How can Paris 2024 benefit from this new approach in line with a new norm…looking into reduction of costs or — better said — focusing on the essentials of the games?”
Virology experts both domestic to Japan, as well as abroad, have purported that any negative change in the coronavirus pandemic curve flattening could still jeopardize the 2021 Olympic timeline.
As we reported in April, Japanese virology expert Kentaro Iwata has warned that, should there be a new COVID-19 outbreak in the run-up to the delayed Tokyo 2020 Games, hosting the event in the summer of 2021 might not be doable. Iwata said that he is “pessimistic” over whether it will be possible to hold the postponed Olympics even in 2021.
When asked about the possibility of an Olympic Games not even coming to fruition for 2021, Bach stated, “All this will depend on the developments in the months to come. We are now 1 year, 2 months away. It is way too early to draw any conclusions now.”
However, the nation of Japan is already reacting to an Olympic Games’ cancellation as a possibility, examining what such a monumental decision would cost its economy. SMBC Nikko Securities, Inc., a Japanese securities firm, projects that a cancellation of the 2020 Olympic Games would decrease Japan’s gross domestic product (GDP) by about 7.8 trillion yen (~$7.3 billion USD).