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Tokyo Olympics postponed to 2021: Who will pay the bills for another year?

The organisers of the Tokyo Olympic Games (Tokyo 2020) will set up a task force to resolve the issues arising after the postponement of the Olympic and Paralympic Games

BS Web Team & agencies 

Tokyo Olympics
A visitor wearing a face mask stands near the Olympic rings at Tokyo's Odaiba district. Photo: AP | PTI

The Tokyo has been delayed by a year till the summer of 2021 as Covid-19 or pandemic wreaks havoc across the world. Now, the organizers of the Tokyo Olympic Games (Tokyo 2020) will set up task force to resolve the issues arising after the postponement of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Tokyo 2020 officials said that the Planning Task Force, which will be officially called TBD, will hold its first meeting on Thursday at its headquarters, with president Yoshiro Mori and CEO Toshiro Muto participating, Xinhua reported.

However, after the postponement of Tokyo Olympics, the multi-billion-dollar question that comes to mind is who will pay the bills for the delay, and how large will they be? The most likely answer is the Japanese taxpayers.

Here’s a look at the sharp escalation in costs that’s likely to take place:


The Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei has put the added cost at $2.7 billion, citing an estimate from local organizers.


Organisers will have to renegotiate new leases on venues, pay for maintenance at arenas, and maybe find different fields of play. They will also have to deal with real estate developers who are already selling off thousands of apartments at what will be the Athletes Village. The organizing committee also employs 3,500 staff members, and some may lose their jobs to cost cutting.


Tokyo has sold $3.3 billion in local sponsorships, more than twice any previous Those brands will be clamouring to know what they get for their money. Refunds? Make-good deals? New contracts?

ALSO READ: Rescheduled Tokyo 2020 need sacrifices from all stakeholders: IOC president

Organiser spending

Organizers are spending $12.6 billion to put together the However, a national government audit report in December put costs at $28 billion. There is always debate about what are — and are not — Olympic costs, and creative accounting is not unknown.


Tokyo was planning to use 42 venues for 33 sports. One extra venue was planned for the Now, it’s not clear how many venues would be available a year from now.

5,632 apartments

The biggest headache could be the Athletes Village, which is to house 11,000 Olympians and staff, and 4,400 Paralympians and staff. The sprawling site on Tokyo Bay — 5,632 apartments — is to be sold off after the Olympics and reports say one-quarter have already been sold. Some cost more than $1 million.

7.8 million tickets

Ticket demand has been unprecedented with 7.8 million available, and demand exceeding supply by 10 times. Ticket sales are expected to raise about $1 billion for local organizers. All tickets have a force majeure clause, which might get organizers off the hook of paying refunds if the is deemed to be “beyond Tokyo 2020’s reasonable control.”

First Published: Thu, March 26 2020. 10:27 IST