TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo Olympic organizers estimate they have found cost-savings of about $280 million by simplifying and cutting some frills from next year’s postponed games.
The report came as the International Olympic Committee executive board met on-line with officials in Japan on Wednesday.
The savings represent about 2% of the official Tokyo Olympic budget of $12.6 billion.
A national audit last year indicated the real costs might be twice as high as the officials numbers. And the University of Oxford published a study last month arguing Tokyo is the most expensive Summer Olympics on record.
The meter is running even as organizers talk about cuts, which are hard to find because spending on large items like expensive venues has already been completed.
Gakuji Ito, the chief financial officer of the Tokyo Olympics, acknowledged the cost-savings figure was only an estimate.
“How we calculated the cost reductions is something that is unprecedented and it is an initiative no one has every experienced,” Ito said, speaking in Japanese. “From an administrative perspective, we struggled hard.”
About 50 proposed cuts were listed on a detailed document from the organizers. Among them were: changes in equipment and re-configuring venues; fewer decorative banners; a 10-15% reduction in “stakeholders” delegation sizes; fewer shuttle buses; reduction in hospitality areas; suspension in production of mascot costumes; and cancellation of official team welcome ceremonies.
No cuts are planned for the number of sports or the number of competitors.
Also largely untouched will be the opening and closing ceremonies, the heavily sponsored 121-day torch relay, and competition areas that will be seen on television broadcasts.
Yoishiro Mori, the organizing committee president and a former Japanese prime minister, talked about the need to cut back on the extras at the games — mostly for the so-called Olympic Family and VIPs.