Tokyo 2020 reassured by IOC over budget cuts despite IF concerns
John Coates, the International Olympic Committee member overseeing Tokyo's preparations for the the 2020 Olympic Games, has said the organising committee can make further cuts to its budget, despite concerns from international federations that the look and feel of the games is being compromised.
Speaking in Tokyo where the IOC coordination commission is conducting its latest inspection, Coates noted that some $2.2 billion had been shaved off the construction and infrastructure budget and $2 billion from the operational budget.
He said: "We appreciate your continued efforts to reduce the operational and other budgets.. We think there are still more savings to be obtained."
The Australian official, who heads up the coordination commission for Tokyo 2020, singled out the overlay budget for further cuts (it has already dropped from $2.1 billion to $1.3 billion), saying: "I think that together we can help you save some more money there.
"We want to be diligent... We do not want the taxpayers of Tokyo and Japan to be meeting any of these operational costs and I'm confident that will be the case."
Last December, the Tokyo 2020 organisers unveiled the latest version of their budget, which amounted to 1.35 trillion yen ($12.1 billion), unchanged from the previous budget released in 2017.
The expected further reductions to the overlay budget come in the wake of the recent Association of Summer Olympic International Federations general assembly in Gold Coast where ASOIF executive director Andrew Ryan cited possible cuts of up to 80 per cent on the budget for some outdoor venues, noting that it is “vitally important” for the likes of golf, triathlon and rowing that “venues look attractive.”
That led to representatives from the governing bodies of tennis, sailing, judo, soccer, archery, triathlon and sports climbing to raise concerns to Tokyo 2020 over the look of their venues and the cost of (and lack of) accommodation.
Coates told Tokyo 2020: "There were some issues identified recently. We think that you've been working them through. We're confident that you will be able to address them. They'll be the subject of more discussion."
Hide Nakamura, executive director of the Tokyo 2020 sports bureau, and the former chief financial officer of Tokyo 2020, had responded to ASOIF members at the 7 May meeting by saying: “We understand the importance of the look of the games. We count on some assistance from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government but because of some restrictions we cannot count on their money.
“In addition some of our committee see it as a decoration. We understand it is not that, it is very important. We will pass on those voices of ASOIF to the organising committee. We will discuss with the TMG and IOC to find a solution for the look of the games.”