With the announcement two months ago that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics would be postponed, the sporting world has been waiting to hear with the Tokyo Olympic organizing committees plans for the games are, and how much the 1-year delay will cost Japan.
In a media interview last Friday, Toshiro Muto, the CEO of the organizing committee said he still could not give an estimate of how much the one-year delay will cost.
Japanese media have reported that the additional expenses will ranged between $2 billion and $6 billion and that the additional expenses for the Tokyo Games are expected to be covered by both Tokyo City and the national government.
Muto, in his news conference was vague about the costs and who will pay what expenses but he very clear about one thing in the online news conference.
"The actual games we will have one year from now may not be the same conventional Olympic and Paralympic Games that we have come to know,."
Moto said, "We are looking into every possible area and it's time for all of us to review what are the essential things for the games. What are the must-have items? I think we might come up with a new Olympic and Paralympic Games, something that is unique to Tokyo."
In the press interview, reporters asked a variety of questions that weren’t answered including,
• How will 11,000 Olympic athletes and 4,400 Paralympians be housed in the Athletes Village and will the tight quarters be safe? How will the athletes travel to Tokyo? How will they train and qualify?
• How does the organizing committee plan to work with the thousands of staff and games officials?
• Will there be fans, or will it be a television-only show? What about millions of tickets already sold? Will there be refunds?
• Will a vaccine be available? Will young, healthy athletes be a priority for a vaccine?
Muto spoke a day after the International Olympic Committee acknowledged it would have added costs of $800 million USD because of the postponement. The IOC said $150 million USD would be made available for loans to national Olympic committees and sports federations, but it gave no details of where the other $650 million USD would go.
Muto said he had few details of the IOC’s financial plans and said, "As to the breakdown of how this money will be used, the IOC has said it's too early to tell, so we at the organizing committee have no idea of all the details about how this money will be spent."
The increase in the Olympics expenses are a sensitive subject in Japanese government circles, with Japan planning for i a deep recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Based upon its “Olympic Host City Contract” the Tokyo organizers and Japanese government are obligated to cover most of the Olympic costs. When Tokyo was awarded the games seven years ago, officials said the Olympics would cost just over $7 billion USD. Tokyo now says it is spending $12.6 billion USD to organize the games, but a government audit report at the end of 2019 estimated that the true cost of the games would be more than $25 billion USD.
In the modern Olympic era, most host countries have found that the Olympics brought fame, but caused losses. Tokyo Olympic officials promised the Japanese public that the 2020 games would be different and not lose money. Whether this promise will be kept remains to be seen.