Postponing Olympics would be costly

Postponing the Tokyo Olympics to 2021 will make the event more costly for all parties, the International Olympic Committee acknowledged on Thursday, although it offered few details on what the final bill might be.

Four directors of the Olympic body held a conference call three days after Tokyo’s new dates were finalized, with the games pushed back to July 23-Aug. 8 next year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

While the new dates cleared up any uncertainty about the event’s future, there are still plenty of question marks as the IOC begins to work with Tokyo organizers and governing bodies of 33 sports in a huge task to amend thousands of contracts.

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They include agreements for 41 venues, an Olympic village of 5,000 apartments, hotels, transport, plus the supply of goods and services.

The estimations for how much it will cost to postpone the games have started at $2 billion and gone much higher. Japanese taxpayers are expected to meet most of it, adding to their share of an official budget of $12.6 billion.

The IOC was contributing $1.3 billion to Tokyo’s original operating budget.

The IOC has yet to reschedule its annual meeting that was set for Tokyo in July — or a presidential election that is scheduled for June 2021 in Athens, Greece. That is now just one month before the start of the Tokyo games.


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