— Published 1 December 2020

A new billion to add to the budget

The numbers follow each other and tend to be similar for the Tokyo Games. According to Kyodo News, citing an anonymous source familiar with the matter, Japanese organisers have calculated the cost of health measures envisaged during the Olympic and Paralympic event to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is said to be 100 billion yen, or about 950 million dollars (800 million euros). The day before, Japanese media reported that the additional cost of the one-year postponement of the Games would reach 1.9 billion dollars. In total, the Games bill would therefore nearly be $3 billion higher. “We are currently assessing the additional costs related to the postponement of the Games due to COVID-19 and are therefore unable to comment on the details at this time”, the organisers explained on Monday November 30 in a press release, refusing to confirm the figures, but without risking to contradict them either. Before the onset of the health crisis, the budget for the Tokyo Games was, according to official sources, at $12.6 billion, significantly up from the amount announced during the candidacy campaign ($7.3 billion). With the additional costs associated with the postponement and the health crisis, it would exceed $15 billion, consolidating Tokyo 2020’s place at the top of the most expensive Summer Games in history. Discussions will soon begin between the organising committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Japanese authorities on the distribution of these additional expenses among the three entities.