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Olympics

Postponing Tokyo Games will cost IOC as much as $800 million

The Olympic rings in Atlanta.
Pushing back the Summer Olympics to 2021 is going to be expensive for the International Olympic Committee and Tokyo Olympics organizers.
(Tami Chappell / AFP via Getty Images)

International Olympic Committee leaders now say that postponing the Tokyo Games because of the coronavirus outbreak will cost their organization as much as $800 million.

IOC President Thomas Bach offered the detailed estimate of added expenses after a remote meeting of his executive board on Thursday.

“The Olympic movement is facing an unprecedented challenge,” Bach said in a statement. “We shall all need to make sacrifices and compromises.”

The IOC’s announced total does not include costs incurred by organizers in Tokyo, who could see their budget swell by an estimated $2 billion to $6 billion.

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The coronavirus outbreak, which led to the postponement of the Olympics, has forced organizers to cancel the 2020 U.S. gymnastics championships.

The $800 million does take into account $150 million earmarked for national Olympic committees and the international federations that govern each sport, many of which have suffered losses because of canceled or postponed events.

Those organizations also depend on significant payments received from the IOC at the time of each Olympics.

The Summer Games, originally scheduled to begin in late July, have been pushed back to almost the same time in 2021. There has been concern about whether some Tokyo venues, including the athletes’ village and temporary structures, will still be available at the later date.

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“This new situation will need all our solidarity, creativity, determination and flexibility.” Bach said.


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