Olympics: Tokyo organisers to save over $280 million with 'simplification' measures
From Jack Tarrant
TOKYO (Reuters) - The organizers of the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics announced Wednesday that they will be implementing cost-cutting measures to save 30 billion yen ($ 283 million) as they want to be a "role model" for future games.
In March, the Japanese government and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) postponed the Games to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since then, the IOC has announced it will pay an additional $ 800 million in costs due to the delay, but Japan-based organizers have been more reluctant to pay.
On Wednesday, members of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee held a virtual presentation in front of the IOC in which they put forward more than 50 “simplification measures”.
"We believe this work will help create a model for future global events, including all upcoming games amid the new normal we are now living with," said Toshiro Muto, Tokyo 2020 CEO, following the presentation.
"We will continue to strive to make the Tokyo 2020 Games a legacy for humanity."
These measures include cutting spending on the appearance of the venues, changes to torch relay operations, and reducing the staffing of non-athletes who come to Tokyo.
Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto said more cost-cutting measures would follow.
The last budget the organizing committee made available in December 2019, months before the postponement, was $ 12.6 billion. Muto said a new budget will be announced later this year.
"Now that we are in the COVID-19 universe, what was taken for granted is no longer the case," added Muto.
"Are we living in a world where this big, flashy festival is appropriate? I think this was a major turning point in that regard."
Many important questions, such as whether spectators can enter the venues, have yet to be decided.
Organizers were optimistic about the Olympics in 2021, despite rising coronavirus death rates around the world.
Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori said last month that the games would be held "no matter what" next year.
(Reporting by Jack Tarrant; Editing by Alison Williams and Christian Radnedge)
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