TOKYO. — Postponing the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games by one year could cost organisers a staggering US$2.7billion, it has been claimed.
Japan Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, and Olympics chief Thomas Bach made the call to postpone the games by 12 months on Tuesday under mounting pressure due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. The Japanese government, organising committee and International Olympic Committee drew up a plan that the Games would be held no later than summer 2021 in a crucial conference call. But scrapping them this summer and rescheduling for next is set to cost billions of pounds, Forbes estimates.
Organisers announced in December that the budget for the Games was likely to be around US$12.6bn, already a steep increase from Tokyo’s projected costs of US$7.3bn when they were awarded the games in 2013. .
With the added US$2.7billion, the Games are now likely to cost US$15.3bn. That would make Tokyo 2020 the second most-expensive Games in history, but still falling way behind the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics which cost a staggering US$21.9bn. The Games will still be called Tokyo 2020 despite being held next year, with a likely new start date of July 2021. The Paralympics, due to be staged this August and September, have also been postponed.
Prime Minister Abe triggered Tuesday’s unprecedented move in a phone call with Bach.
Abe said: ‘‘We asked President Bach to consider postponement of about one year to make it possible for athletes to be in the best condition, and to make the event a safe and secure one for spectators.’’
The decision was then confirmed in a joint statement from the IOC and Tokyo 2020 organisers.
It read: ‘‘In the present circumstances, and based on the information provided by the World Health Organisation today, the IOC president and the prime minister of Japan have concluded that the Games must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Games and the international community.’’ — Mailonline/Telegraph.