Tokyo 2020 is set to reduce the capacity of its sporting venues by more than 30,000 as part of cost-cutting efforts for the summer Olympic Games, with the latest budget for the event set to be revealed later this month.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today (Wednesday) completed its fifth Coordination Commission visit to the Japanese capital, with chair John Coates stating they leave Tokyo confident “yet again” that preparations are well underway to host a “fantastic Olympic Games”.
The IOC is keen that Tokyo further reduce costs, however, leading to the revelations over the reduction in seating capacity at Olympic venues. Japanese news agency Kyodo said the proposed reduction of seats at 12 venues is being discussed, including the new National Stadium that will be the centrepiece of the Games. An agreement had already been reached to reduce the National Stadium to 68,000 seats from the 80,000 planned when Tokyo was bidding for the Games.
Kyodo added that seats at the equestrian venue would be cut from 14,000 to 9,300 while those at Ryogoku Kokugikan, the boxing venue, would be reduced from 10,000 to 7,700 and at the archery venue from 7,000 to 5,000. Handball and cycling venues are among other facilities proposed for seating cuts.
The capacity cuts are said to have been made following talks with International Federations (IFs) and Coates (pictured) maintained the subsequent reduction in tickets available will not impact on the overall budget. In December 2016, Tokyo 2020 formally confirmed its budget plans for the first time, with between Y1.6tr (€11.97bn/$14.19bn) and Y1.8tr having been allocated to deliver the two events.
A total of Y500bn had been set aside for the organising committee (OCOG) budget, while the other entities budget had been set at between Y1.1tr and Y1.3tr.
The final budget is now projected at $12bn and Coates today said he believed this can be cut by a further $1bn. A second version of the budget is set to be released before the end of the year.
“The federations know what the demand is going to be and we think ticket sales here are going to be very, very strong,” Coates said of the plan to cut stadia and arena capacities. “It's because the federations see that they don't need that amount.
“We've seen the athletics stadium get down from 120,000 in Sydney to 65,000 in London and 68,000 here. Most of these reductions will be in the temporary seating anyway, but we don't want to provide more seating than we need.
“I think they'll find the billion dollars by the time we get to the end of the Games, but they're not going to say, here's a billion dollars now. It'll just sit there in a contingency. There is a discipline.”