The International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government agreed to postpone last week amid the accelerated threat posed worldwide by the coronavirus pandemic. The IOC has confirmed that the Games will now take place between July 23 and August 8 next year, which will allow organizers and competitors time to prepare.
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The postponement could create immediate cash flow problems for the national Olympic committees and some of the international sports federations that are included in the scheduled Games. IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi said it would take time to assess the financial impact, but said Tokyo’s success in generating sponsorship funds, selling tickets and other activities marketing would be mitigating factors.
Tens of thousands of budget lines need to be reviewed. What I said before, we have this commitment to help and help and to find the right solution. You should also remember that Tokyo Olympic was in an excellent financial situation before the crisis and that they also had unforeseen events and this must be taken into account.
It’s premature to address this issue, Dubi said in a conference call. It’s a brand-new ball game and we have to look at each element. I have read numbers but these are speculation because I can guarantee that the work is in progress.
These are many moving parts, but the fantastic marketing campaign they ran – ticketing, hospitality – is really helpful because the incomes are incredibly high and we can rely on ourselves. Tokyo Organizing Committee chief executive Toshiro Muto said last week that the cost of reprogramming would be “huge”.
Dubi expressed sympathy for the situation Muto and his colleagues were in now. You have to understand that Tokyo Olympic and the authorities were close to delivery. When we see it in four months, it’s a machine ready to deliver.
They have their volunteers identified, everyone is ready to go, they have their latest test events. It’s a big machine ready to go, and we had to brake. You have an Olympic village under contract and ready to operate, you have 41 sports sites which have very detailed contracts, convention centers hosting sporting events.
Securing the Olympic Village for use in the summer of 2021 was on the “emergency list,” said Dubi.
The media, 40,000 hotels reserved by the organizing committee, 2,000 buses, thousands of contracts for goods and services, and all-around a date, which was this summer. All of this needs to be secured again a year later, so it’s a huge undertaking.
IOC Sporting Director Kit McConnell confirmed that already qualified athletes will remain eligible to compete one year later, subject to selection by their national Olympic committee. He also confirmed that the intention was for the men’s and women’s marathons and walking events to take place in Sapporo, with its cooler climate than that of Tokyo.