THE BIG PICTURE: Battle of the budget continues in Tokyo for 2020

The battle of the budget continues at the 2020 Tokyo Games, where a new version of the total financial requirements is due at the end of the year.

During the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) meetings in Tokyo (JPN), Tokyo 2020 CEO/Director General Toshiro Muto told reporters that pressure continues to be placed on the budget, but that the organizers are “absolutely determined” to stay within the limits of the $12.6 billion plan announced in October.

The Around the Rings web site quoted Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Tayaka as explaining that “We are facing a high demand on the budget due to the unforeseen new items including the countermeasures to the heat weather for example.

“For example, last summer we observed the exceptionally hot weather and considering that circumstances the department in charge of that obviously felt it would be necessary to secure even more appropriate budget to [halt] that measure.”

Muto reported that the construction of permanent venues and the main Olympic Village is “on track” and that the new Olympic Stadium will be completed by the end of next year, as will the 21-building, 3,800-apartment Village, slated to hold 18,000 beds. There will be two satellite villages in existing hotels for the cycling and sailing venues.

But the budget will continue to plague Tokyo, which submitted a plan in its 2013 bid with a total cost of 734 billion Yen, or about $7.0 billion in then-current U.S. dollars. But the sheer size of the Games, now planned for 339 events and 11,900 athletes across 42 venues, continues to be a challenge and it will be harder and harder to find savings.

This is normal for a Games, especially those which have heavy construction requirements. And as the planning becomes ever more detailed, there will be new needs to meet, and more money to be spent.

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