The Tokyo Olympics organisers on Monday announced that the tournament’s opening ceremony would be held on July 23, 2021 — exactly 364 days after the games were originally meant to start in 2020.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Japanese organisers had made the decision last week to postpone the Olympics to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s games were scheduled to begin on July 24 while the closing ceremony was to take place on August 9. However, the exact one-year delay will see the closing ceremony reschedule to August 8.
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What you need to know:
▶️ Opening Ceremony on July 23, 2021
▶️ Paralympics begin August 24, 2021
▶️ Will be the earliest start for a Summer Olympics since 1996 https://t.co/auQtrbS0dw
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) March 30, 2020
And this change in the plan means Japan and the organizations associated with the Olympics would have to bear massive losses, estimated to run in billions of dollars.
Most of the expenses, as CEO Toshiro Muto and organising committee president Yoshiro Mori confirmed, will be borne by Japanese taxpayers.
Muto promised to keep transparency while calculating the costs, and how they are divided up.
“Since it (the Olympics) were scheduled for this summer, all the venues had given up hosting any other events during this time, so how do we approach that?” Muto asked.
“In addition, there will need to be guarantees when we book the new dates, and there is a possibility this will incur rent payments. So there will be costs incurred and we will need to consider them one by one. I think that will be the tougher process.”
Katsuhiro Miyamoto, a sports economics professor at Kansai University, likens the costs to be as high as $4 billion. This includes the cost of maintaining stadiums, paying rentals, refitting them, penalties and other expenses.
Officially speaking, Japan is splurging $12.6 billion to organise the Olympics. However, the Japanese government’s audit bureau says the costs might be twice that much.
Except $5.6 billion from the private sector, all of the operating budgets has been sourced through public money.
The IOC is chipping in $1.3 billion if the organising committee documents are to be believed. The Switzerland-based IOC’s allowance goes into the operating budget as well.