Tokyo 2020 construction costs reach $13B

12 December 2017

In Japan, construction of the main stadium for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is underway, despite the fact that the final budget for the games still hasn’t been locked down.

Ecent estimates have put the total Tokyo Olympic bill at around $13 billion, but now it looks like that figure is set to take a trimming.

Masa Takaya of the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games recounted that the move to cut costs started early, and some cuts have already been achieved.

“Soon after the Organizing Committee launch, Tokyo 2020 started the whole venue master plan review from the perspective of legacy, impact to the citizens of Tokyo, and venue maintenance cost,” Takaya said.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics originally unveiled an audacious main stadium design by renowned architect Zaha Hadid, but the design was ultimately rejected as too costly. And, beyond just the price tag to taxpayers, a new consideration came to the fore. “Sustainability as one of the key pillars, key themes of the Olympic agenda 2020, and it says, “maximum use of the existing venues,” Takaya said.

Tokyo 2020 organizers expanded use of existing facilities from 40 percent to 60 percent of venues, solving part – but not all – of the challenge.

Projected costs for the entire Olympics have ballooned by about twice that of the original amount bid, according to certain estimates. And that has some people asking: Is it worth it?

A key problem is that various costs, including anti-terrorism security and augmented transportation facilities, were not reflected in Tokyo’s original Olympic bid.

Sports policy expert Tomoyuki Suzuki explains, “IOC requested Tokyo to show a budget of the Olympics on specific points, but not all. But, by their explanation, we thought the budget was for all Olympic costs.”

The aftermath of Fukushima continues to have a negative impact. “After the Fukushima March 11 disaster, building material costs and contractors’ fees have gone up and up. The Olympic budget requires more and more, ” Suzuki said.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Organizing Committee promises to announce revised costs by year’s end, when Japanese citizens are likely to be looking not only for a lower “bottom line,” but greater budget transparency, as well.