Budget uncertainty continues to dog Tokyo 2020

Estimated cost has almost doubled since year of bid

16:13 July 18, 2017

Tokyo: Uncertainty over the final budget for the 2020 Olympic Games will continue until 2019, the head of the Tokyo Organising Committee said on Tuesday.

“We will continue to explore more cost efficiencies,” Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto told the foreign media amid concerns regarding the higher-than-projected costs.

The estimated cost of hosting the Games has doubled to 1.4 trillion yen ($12.6 billion) from the 730 billion yen ($6.6 billion) that was proposed when Tokyo won the bid in 2013.

Tokyo has cut some costs by shifting to temporary facilities and pre-existing ones, including some outside Tokyo, instead of building new facilities.

Muto said 60 per cent of the venues are existing ones, and 40 per cent are outside Japan’s capital.

This includes plans to hold some baseball and softball games in Fukushima prefecture, the site of the nuclear plant meltdowns that followed the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Muto noted that a major theme for Tokyo 2020 will be recovery from the devastating disaster of nearly a decade earlier.

Muto said construction of the controversial main stadium is well underway.
 Discovery Communications has resumed talks to sub-license broadcast rights for the Olympic Games to German state broadcasters ARD and ZDF, the US-based company and ARD said on Tuesday, confirming a newspaper report.

“We cannot comment in detail on ongoing negotiations, but we can confirm that talks have resumed,” a spokesman for Discovery said in an emailed statement.

Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung had reported late on Monday that the renewed negotiations were focused on the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, for the moment, but said a cooperation on subsequent Olympic Games had become more likely.

In 2015, Discovery won the European broadcast rights for the Olympics from 2018 to 2024 for 1.3 billion euros ($1.5 billion), beating national public broadcasters such as the BBC and France Television.