By Associated Press
TOKYO — Tokyo Olympic organizers will present their first official cost estimate for the 2020 Games at a level slightly below their promised 2 trillion ($17 billion) cap, Japanese media said Wednesday.
Organizers are expected to present an estimated total of 1.6 trillion to 1.8 trillion yen ($14 billion to $15 billion) at Wednesday’s meeting in Tokyo. The games operational cost is expected to take up about half of the total budget.
International Olympic Committee vice president John Coates has criticized the $17 billion cap as too high. Coates, via video conference from Australia, will join chief organizer Yoshiro Mori, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike and Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa.
Coates has said that he has not accepted the cap and that he expected significant further savings to be made.
Tokyo’s Olympic costs have soared amid Japan’s reconstruction from the earthquake and tsunami in 2011, the year Tokyo launched its bid for the games. The city secured the games in 2013.
A Tokyo government panel has warned the cost of the Olympics could exceed $30 billion — four times the initial estimate — without drastic cuts. The outspoken governor, Koike, spearheaded a cost-cutting effort, proposing a review of three costly venues.
The IOC also has come under pressure to reduce costs in order to lure cities to bid for future games. The $51 billion price tag associated with the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, led numerous cities to drop out of bidding for the 2022 and 2024 Olympics, and the IOC is now encouraging cities to make maximum use of existing and temporary facilities.
Koike has since agreed to keep all three venues — for rowing and canoe sprint, as well as swimming and volleyball — at their planned sites in Tokyo, rather than moving the existing venues outside the capital, while securing commitments for further cost reductions.