Tokyo Olympics organisers to slash costs by USD280M

TOKYO (AFP) – The cost of the coronavirus-postponed Tokyo Olympics will be slashed by USD280 million, organisers said on Wednesday, touting a scaled-back Games with cuts to everything from staffing to pyrotechnics.

But the final price of the event – officially budgetted before the pandemic at USD12 billion – remains unclear because additional expenses caused by the postponement have not yet been made public.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, in a virtual press conference from Lausanne, hailed the cuts as “a significant result considering the circumstances”.

“Most of the expenditure had been made. There’s very limited room to manoeuvre,” said Bach.

Plans for a lower-key Olympics were unveiled last month, with cost-cutting measures including fewer free tickets, scrapping athlete welcome ceremonies, and savings on banners, mascots and meals.

“This work will help to create a model for future global events including forthcoming Games amid the new normal in which we now live,” organisers said in a statement after a presentation to the IOC Executive Board.

They said they would calculate an updated budget – including additional costs linked to postponement and coronavirus counter-measures – by the end of the year.