IOC: Tokyo’s huge cost could give wrong mes­sage

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

A top IOC of­fi­cial re­newed his de­mand yes­ter­day that Ja­panese or­gan­is­ers fur­ther re­duce their $18 bil­lion bud­get ceil­ing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, say­ing the fig­ure could scare off cities con­sid­er­ing bids for fu­ture games.

IOC vice pres­i­dent John Coates, who heads the co­or­di­na­tion commission for the Tokyo Olympics, was re­fer­ring to the an­nounce­ment by lo­cal or­gan­is­ers this week of a 2 tril­lion yen ($18 bil­lion) cap on the over­all cost.

Coates told the co­or­di­na­tion meet­ing in Tokyo on Thurs­day that the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee has not ac­cepted the fig­ure. He said all cities seek­ing to host fu­ture games are watch­ing Tokyo and of­fi­cials should avoid mak­ing a “wrong im­pres­sion” about what it costs to host the Olympics, ac­cord­ing to Ky­odo News.

Coates said he ex­pected “sig­nif­i­cant fur­ther sav­ings” to be made.

Ja­panese or­gan­is­ers have yet to com­pile a to­tal cost es­ti­mate, though their first of­fi­cial bud­get is ex­pected by the end of the year.

Tokyo’s Olympic costs have soared amid Ja­pan’s re­con­struc­tion from the earth­quake and tsunami in 2011, the year Tokyo launched its bid for the games. The city se­cured the games in 2013.

A Tokyo gov­ern­ment panel has said the cost of the Olympics could ex­ceed $30 bil­lion - four times the ini­tial es­ti­mate - un­less dras­tic cuts are made.

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike has spear­headed the cost-cut­ting ef­fort, propos­ing a re­view of the three costly venues.

Koike agreed Tues­day to keep the row­ing, ca­noe sprint and swim­ming venues at their planned sites in Tokyo, rather than mov­ing them to ex­ist­ing venues out­side the cap­i­tal, while se­cur­ing com­mit­ments for sub­stan­tial cost re­duc­tions.

A de­ci­sion on a pos­si­ble switch of the vol­ley­ball venue was de­layed un­til late De­cem­ber.

Yoshiro Mori, head of Tokyo’s Olympic or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee, said he wanted to see vol­ley­ball held in Tokyo’s Ari­ake Arena as planned, in­stead of Yoko­hama con­sid­ered as an al­ter­nate op­tion - so the venue can serve as a long-term legacy.

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