Delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics gulped US$13 billion
The final price tag for last year’s Tokyo Olympics was more than double the city’s original 2013 estimate after a one-year Covid-19 postponement added to the already hefty bill.
The organising committee said Tuesday the Games had cost ¥1.42 trillion, the equivalent of US$13 billion at the time. At today’s rates, with the yen at a 24-year low against the dollar, the figure would be $10.4 billion.
Tokyo 2020 was held a year later than planned because of the pandemic — the first Olympics postponed in peacetime — and spectators were banned from nearly all events, which were held under strict Covid-19 countermeasures.
The Games cost twice the ¥734 billion that the Tokyo Games organisers had predicted in their bid to the International Olympic Committee in 2013, but less than the final pre-Games budget unveiled in December 2020.
Despite losing out on ticket sales, organisers saved some cash by simplifying events and avoiding the cost of hosting millions of fans.
The organising committee, which disbands at the end of June, said the event’s final cost was 200 billion yen less than projected in its pre-Games budget in 2020 and 29 billion yen less than the final slimmed-down costs prediction in December 2021.
“It’s up to everyone involved in this event to pass on the legacy of the Tokyo Olympics to the next generation,” said Tokyo 2020 chief Seiko Hashimoto.
Tokyo experienced a Covid-19 surge last year as the Olympics approached, fuelling fears the event could worsen outbreaks in Japan and possibly the world.
The northern Japanese city of Sapporo is bidding to host the Winter Olympics in 2030.
A March survey of Sapporo and the surrounding region showed that a majority of the public are in favour of holding the event.
Officials have ruled out holding a public referendum on the 2030 bid.