In the face of increasing prices, Tokyo Olympics could slash ‘extras’

TOKYO – Tokyo Olympic officials and the IOC said Thursday they’ll remove any of the bonuses from the cancelled games next year, an effort to reduce what’s estimated to be trillions of dollars in potential expenses.

John Coates, president of the Ioc, who leads the Tokyo inspection panel, said at a teleconference that reductions in fields such as catering and lavish “real sights” for public viewing is possible.

“Do we have to provide advertisers, distributors and regional Olympic committees with the same amount of hospitality? “Coates asked, indicating pandemic coronavirus could dampen enthusiasm. “Because of the economic downturn, many broadcasters may not have as big a presence of advertisers here.”

Coates talked about the distinction between “must-have” apps and “nice-to-have” items, which can be left out before the July 23, 2021 Olympics begin.

Coates has made it known that organisers in Tokyo and the Japanese government would bear the billions of new expenses.

He has said IOC will make an immediate donation of “several hundred million dollars” to support distressed foreign sports federations and national Olympic committees remain afloat. The money is not intended for the organisers in Tokyo and the governments in Japan, which are planning for the games.

IOC President Thomas Bach mentioned the contribution in a newspaper article Sunday interview but was not specific about the recipients of the aid.

“We are not going to stand by and watch our international federations collapse,” Coates said.

The responsibility for Japan to cover the extra costs is laid out in the “Host City Deal” concluded in 2013 when the IOC granted the games to Tokyo. Neither the IOC nor Japanese officials offer cost estimates, but media reports in Japan suggest an additional $2-to-$6-billion bill in addition to current spending.

Officially Japan claims it is costing $12.6 billion, but a nationwide report suggests the amount is twice as high. Whatever the sum, public capital is anything but $5.6 billion.

This year, the IOC was supposed to compensate federations some $600 million, a proceeds from the Tokyo Olympics. Some federations depend almost entirely on contributions from IOCs.

A reporter for Japanese broadcaster NHK has requested organizing committee chairman Yoshiro Mori to support Tokyo if the IOC “would chip in on costs.”

“We’re in the process of researching and analyzing the additional expenses,” Mori said. “We realize of course we’re going to have to pay what we have to pay for. The general aim, though, is to raising the costs as much as possible.’

Tokyo CEO Toshiro Muto vowed to look fresh “at the quality of service we are offering.”

“We would of course respond to demands from federations and national Olympic committees,” said Muto. “If we replied entirely to all inquiries by such bodies, the costs will be exorbitant.”

Coates was asked to clarify how Japan would be in condition in 15 months to host the Olympics. Muto also voiced worry last week.

Coronavirus infections in Tokyo have been spiking, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called for immediate measures, urging people to remain at home.

The games from 206 national Olympic committees hold 11,000 Olympic and 4,400 Paralympic competitors and staff. They still depend on massive global transportation, and would require a go-ahead for large crowds — 75,000 at the current national stadium in Tokyo or 10,000 to 15,000 at other arenas.

“We allowed ourselves as much flexibility as we could,” Coates said, finding out that several people decided to reschedule for the 2021 season. “It was a reason to move as late as possible.”