TOKYO (AP) – Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics and the IOC said on Thursday that they would cut some of the supplements from the games postponed from next year, an attempt to limit what should be billions of dollars in additional spending.
International Olympic Committee member John Coates, who heads the Tokyo inspection team, said during a teleconference that reductions were likely in areas such as hospitality and expensive “tourist spots” for the public.
“Should we expect as much hospitality for sponsors, broadcasters and national Olympic committees?” Coates asked, suggesting that the coronavirus pandemic could dampen enthusiasm. “Many broadcasters may not have as many advertisers here because of the economic downturn.”
Coates spoke of the difference between “must have” features and “nice to have” accessories, which could be excluded when the Olympics open on July 23, 2021.
Coates also said that Tokyo organizers and the Japanese government would absorb the billions of additional expenses.
He said the IOC would provide “several hundred million dollars” in emergency contributions to help struggling international sports federations and national Olympic committees stay afloat. The money is not intended for the organizers of Tokyo and the Japanese governments, who prepare the games.
IOC President Thomas Bach mentioned the contribution in an interview with a German newspaper on Sunday, but did not specify the recipients of the aid.
“We will not sit idly by and see our international federations collapse,” said Coates.
Japan’s obligation to absorb the additional costs is stipulated in the “host city contract” signed in 2013 when the IOC awarded the games to Tokyo. Neither the IOC nor Japanese officials offer cost estimates, but media reports in Japan suggest an additional $ 2 billion to $ 6 billion in addition to current spending.
Japan officially declares that it spends $ 12.6 billion, but a national audit indicates that the figure is twice as high. Whatever the total, with the exception of $ 5.6 billion, it is public money.
The IOC was to pay around $ 600 million to the federations this year, according to the revenues of the Tokyo Olympic Games. Some federations depend almost exclusively on contributions from the IOC.
A journalist for the Japanese television channel NHK asked the president of the organizing committee, Yoshiro Mori, if the IOC “should contribute to the costs” to help Tokyo.
“We are currently studying and reviewing the additional costs,” said Mori. “Of course, we know that we will have to pay what we have to pay. However, the general direction is to reduce costs as much as possible. “
Tokyo CEO Toshiro Muto has promised to take a fresh look “at the level of service we provide”.
“Of course, we will respond to requests from federations and national Olympic committees,” added Muto. “If we fully responded to all requests from these entities, the costs would be exorbitant.”
Coates was asked to explain how Japan will be fit to host the Olympics in 15 months. Muto also expressed concern last week.
Coronavirus cases in Tokyo have increased and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called for emergency measures, asking people to stay at home.
The Games welcome 11,000 Olympic athletes and 4,400 Paralympic athletes and the staff of 206 national Olympic committees. They also count on numerous trips around the world and will need a green light for mass gatherings – 75,000 in the new Tokyo National Stadium or 10,000 to 15,000 in many arenas.
“We have given ourselves as much time as possible,” said Coates, noting that some wanted to postpone the calendar for spring 2021. “It was a factor in arriving as late as possible.”