IOC pledges $800 million in aid to offset losses from Tokyo 2020 postponement
The International Olympic Committee has created an $800 million fund to cover increased costs associated with the 12-month postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, providing a starting point for estimating the financial hit the IOC will absorb from the scheduling shift resulting from the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, Trend reports citing The Washington Post.
Of the funds, about $650 million will go to cover operating expenses associated with postponing the games from summer 2020 to summer 2021, which the IOC announced in March, with the remaining $150 million going to individual international sport federations (IFs) and national organizing committees (NOCs) to help cover cash-flow shortages.
“This crisis has had a very severe financial effect on the world, on society and on governments, and so of course, also on the Olympic Games,” IOC President Thomas Bach said in a conference call Thursday following a remote meeting of the IOC executive board.
The $800 million figure represents only the IOC’s contribution and does not include the expected losses for the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee and the Japanese government. A previous budget estimate pegged the overall cost to the Tokyo 2020 committee, Japan and the city of Tokyo of hosting the Olympics at $12.6 billion.
During Thursday’s call, Bach declined to estimate the overall additional cost associated with postponing the Tokyo Games, saying, “We are assessing … the respective impact caused by the postponement.” Bach also said the IOC would be looking for ways to “reduce the cost while maintaining the spirit of the games and quality of the sports competition.”
“We want this Olympics to be a frugal games,” Bach said.
It was unclear what formula or process the IOC would use to distribute the $150 million to IFs and NOCs.
Since the postponement of the Tokyo Games in March — the first peacetime postponement of an Olympics in history — speculation has persisted that the July-August 2021 dates also could be in jeopardy, as the world’s scientific community races to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus, which has killed nearly 300,000 worldwide.
Asked Thursday whether staging the Olympics in summer 2021 is dependent upon a vaccine being available, and whether there could be limitations on spectators either way, Bach declined to give direct answers.
“We are now working … to have these games in a safe environment for all participants,” he said. “We are one year and two months from the opening of these postponed Olympic Games. We should not fuel any speculation on any future development.”