September 30, 2016 - 6:16 AM
TOKYO - An expert panel set up by Tokyo's newly elected governor says the price tag of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics could exceed $30 billion unless drastic cost-cutting measures are taken. That's more than a four-fold increase from the initial estimate at the time Tokyo was awarded the games in 2013.
Following is a breakdown of the panel's projected costs by category. Original bid estimates have been included when available.
The building of the new national stadium, which will host the opening and closing ceremonies and track and field, has been plagued by a series of problems. An earlier design by the late Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid had risen to $2.65 billion, more than twice the original forecast. The Japanese government decided to scrap that plan and, on Friday, approved a new stadium project totalling nearly $1.5 billion. Officials say construction will begin in December and be completed by November 2019.
Located on reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay, the panel estimates the cost at $954 million. The village is being built by a private consortium and will be rented during the games. The plan is to transform the village into a residential area after the games.
Organizers plan to build seven temporary venues for sports such as beach volleyball, triathlon and gymnastics. In July, the organizing committee acknowledged the cost of building those venues had surged to an estimated $2.6 billion, up from an initial estimate of $800 million.
Tokyo plans to build seven new permanent venues to go along with 19 existing venues. The panel estimates the cost of the seven new permanent facilities at $2.24 billion. However, it has proposed using existing facilities for three sports — volleyball, swimming, rowing and canoe sprint — instead of building new permanent venues. The canoeing venue could move to Tome City in Miyagi prefecture, about 440 kilometres (270 miles) northeast of Tokyo.
"SOFT" COSTS (security, transportation, operating fees, etc.)
Based on estimates from the 2012 London Olympics, the panel suggests these costs could be as much as $16 billion, including $2 billion for transportation, $3 billion for security, $6 billion for energy and technology, and $5 billion for operating costs.
The breakdown does not take into consideration unforeseen costs. The panel said these could arise from earthquake prevention measures and the possibility that additional venues may be moved outside of Tokyo, increasing transportation and security costs. Tokyo organizers are also looking at measures to counter the extreme heat in Tokyo and the panel took those potential costs into consideration when it came up with the estimate of $30 billion.
Bid estimate: $7.3 billion.
Panel estimate: $30 billion.
News from © The Associated Press, 2016