Over 50 cost-cutting measures identified for delayed 2020 Olympics
The International Olympic Committee and the organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have agreed to implement more than 50 cost-cutting measures for the postponed games.
The two parties have also been discussing potential countermeasures for coronavirus given the ongoing pandemic.
The IOC’s coordination commission and the Tokyo 2020 organising committee have been working on efficiencies to address the rise in expenditure necessitated by the delaying of the games until July-August 2021.
Japanese reports had suggested that the postponement was set to add around $2.8 billion to the original budget of $12.6 billion, while the IOC has set aside $650 million to cover potential extra costs associated with the delay.
However, today’s meeting of the coordination commission and organising committee, which also involved IOC president Thomas Bach, provided an opportunity to review cost-cutting measures, with more to be identified in the run-up to the Olympics.
These have been split into the categories of stakeholders, infrastructure, promotion and other areas of interest.
It is envisaged that savings can be made by reducing the number of stakeholder personnel attending the games, streamlining transport services, adjusting spectator activities at competition venues and hosting various pre-games meetings online.
The measures were drawn up with input from the International Paralympic Committee, with the Tokyo Paralympics to be held in August-September 2021, the city’s metropolitan government, the Japanese government, and other stakeholders including national Olympic and Paralympic committees, international federations, broadcasters, media and IOC TOP sponsors.
Speaking after the meeting, John Coates, the chair of the coordination commission, said: “Built from the principles outlined by the Joint IOC and Tokyo 2020 Steering Committee, these optimisations and simplifications mark an important step towards delivering a safe and successful Games in 2021. We owe it to the public to enact these measures during these challenging times, that’s why we’ve left no stone unturned and will continue to look for further opportunities over the coming months.
“The unique task of reorganising an Olympic Games has called for the Olympic Movement to be stronger together – this milestone illustrates our collective commitment. The ‘Tokyo Model’ will not only deliver a Games fit for a post-corona world, it will become a blueprint that will benefit future Organising Committees for many years to come.”
Mori Yoshiro, the president of Tokyo 2020, added: “Considering the current state of the world, we have been discussing how we will be able to deliver a safe and secure Games that can win public understanding in these challenging times. After we established a broader direction that the Games in 2021 should be simplified, we have been working closely together with the IOC, the IPC and various stakeholders such as IFs, NOCs, NPCs, partners and broadcasters, in every possible area that can contribute to simplifications.
“This process will benefit future society – becoming a role model for future global events as people adapt to living in the new normal. We will make all efforts to ensure that in the future the Tokyo 2020 Games will be a legacy. We will continue to work hard on simplifications towards next year and ask for the continued cooperation of all those involved in the Games.”
Given the time until the Olympics and Paralympics and the changing global health situation, Covid-19 countermeasures are still being considered.
However, various scenarios were reviewed at today’s meeting with a view to building a framework for operational planning.
Possible countermeasures have been divided into seven areas: travel/country access; physical distancing; personal protective equipment/cleaning; food and beverage; testing/tracking/isolating; information provision; and vaccines.
The IOC has been cooperating with international federations and other event organisers to contribute to an ongoing review of the best practices and learnings to be taken from the staging of sport around the world.
The IOC concluded: “Looking ahead, the [coordination] commission acknowledged that as countermeasures are further developed and reviewed, important discussions will continue to be conducted on a stakeholder-journey based approach, with a focus on athletes, Games-related personnel and spectators. These preparations will continue to evolve in line with the monitoring of the global situation and its impact on Games preparations.”
It is envisaged that a report will be produced in December outlining the necessary countermeasures, but a deadline has yet to be set for decisions on matters such as the presence of Japanese and overseas spectators.
Earlier this month, Bach suggested the staging of the games would benefit from rapid Covid-19 testing, quarantine measures and the development of vaccines, while stressing the latter was not “the silver bullet.”