The rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics is set to spend US$960 million (£720 million) on COVID-19 countermeasures, with an estimated cost of the delay totalling US$1.9 billion.
The Games were set to take place originally during the summer of 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic forced officials into rescheduling the competition until 2021, where COVID-19 safety measures will be required to ensure a safe Olympics take place.
The national news organisation, Kyodo News, reported that of the expected US$1.9 billion cost, US$960 billion will be used to fund safety measures, including the setting up of a health care infrastructure and testing system.
Tokyo 2020 organisers, the Tokyo Metropolitan government and the Japanese government are in talks to formulate potential countermeasures for the coronavirus, with an interim report expected on December 2.
Wearing face masks and emphasising the importance of adhering to social distancing measures are predicted to be mandatory, as well as encouraging athletes to only stay in Japan and in the Village for their respective events.
The 2020 Games were already set to be the most expensive Olympics on record, costing US$13 billion, prior to the announcement of the new eye-watering additional figure. The costs were originally split three ways between the organising committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan government and the Japanese government but it is not yet known how much of the additional cost each stakeholder will incur.
In May, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach, anticipated that the postponement would cost the governing body US$800 million and cost-cutting measures have been implemented to save US$288 million since then, which include cutting the number of attending officials, reforms to amount of lighting and temporary power supplies and cancelling the opening ceremony and Athletes’ Village ceremony, with the plans being dubbed as the ‘Tokyo Model’.
It is hoped that the measures could be used by future host nations to reduce the cost of their Olympic games.
The welcome news of a COVID-19 vaccine has meant that organisers are encouraged about seeing a safe Olympic Games go ahead in Tokyo and has increased the likelihood of their being spectators welcomed into the venues to watch the events live.
Author: Jake Wilkin