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IOC to analyse further Tokyo 2020 cost cuts

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said it will respond to organisers of the 2020 summer Olympic Games by August 1 over a fresh set of cost reductions which they claim could result in savings of about $100m (€85.5m).

The IOC’s Coordination Commission today (Thursday) wrapped up a three-day visit to Japan, stating they were impressed by the “significant advances” that have been made by the Tokyo 2020 organising committee towards hosting the Games.

Coordination Commission chair John Coates stated that the IOC will analyse around 30 different proposals put forward by Tokyo 2020 for cost savings. However, he stressed that greater savings are set to be made through the use of temporary facilities, sharing facilities between sports and by reducing the period of Olympic Village operations from 12 to 10 days before the opening ceremony.

According to Japanese news agency Kyodo, Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori said the budget was continuously being revised in line with IOC guidelines, and that its third iteration would be completed later this year.

In December, Tokyo 2020 revealed a Y150bn (€1.12bn/$1.33bn) reduction in its budget. The release of the second edition of the budget came a year after Tokyo 2020 formally confirmed its budget plans for the first time. Tokyo 2020 has been engaged in continued efforts to cut costs, encouraged by the IOC to do so in order to attract future Olympic Games bidders.

The updated overall Games budget totalled Y1.35tn in December, a reduction of Y150bn compared to version one, and Y35bn less than the interim figure indicated in the ‘Overall Division of Roles and Allocation of Costs’ agreement reached in May between Tokyo 2020, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG), the Japanese Government and local governments of cities and prefectures hosting events.

It was also announced today that Fukushima will be the starting point for the Olympic Torch Relay. Fukushima was badly affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and Games organisers have worked to ensure the local population can benefit directly from the Olympics, with some sports events also taking place in the region.

Venue preparation was a core topic throughout the three-day visit, with the Coordination Commission kicking off the first day with a tour of Tokyo Stadium, Musashino Forest Sport Plaza and Equestrian Park.

Tokyo Stadium, which will host football, rugby sevens and modern pentathlon, is one of the 22 existing venues that will be used for the Olympic Games. Musashino Forest Sport Plaza, the first new permanent venue to be completed, has already begun hosting multi-purpose events, representing the first tangible venue legacy of the Olympic Games.

The multi-sport venue will host badminton, wheelchair basketball at the Paralympics and parts of the modern pentathlon competition, and includes a swimming pool, a gym, a multi-use sports arena and two fitness studios, all of which will also be available for use by the general public before and after the Games.

The Coordination Commission capped off the venue tour with a stop at the Equestrian Park, also known as Baji Koen. A legacy of the 1964 Olympic Games, the Equestrian Park, which is being redeveloped with the assistance of the Japan Racing Association (JRA), will be reopened to the public following the 2020 Games.

Coates (pictured) said: “Tokyo 2020 comes a significant step closer to delivering Olympic Games that will bring Japan and the world together. The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee has presented considerable progress since our previous Coordination Commission visit last year, especially as it relates to venue and operational readiness.

“As we near the two-years-to-go mark, the Games are really coming to life, with the Olympic Torch Relay showing the power of sport, as it will begin in Fukushima, which was affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.”