TOKYO – About 80% of the facilities needed for next year’s postponed Tokyo Olympics have been lined up, the president of the organizing committee said Friday.
Two of the largest venues have not yet been secured, however.
“For a significant number of facilities, about 80% of them, we have already gained basic approval for their use next year," Yoshiro Mori said, speaking at an executive board meeting of the organizing committee. “However, there are also venues that already have reservations for other users next year."
Organizers are still working to secure the 5,000-apartment Athletes Village and the Tokyo Big Sight, a hulking convention center on Tokyo Bay that will be used as the main press center. They have said they are optimistic but work remains.
Pierre Ducrey, the Olympic Games operations director, has called the Athletes Village “problem No. 1."
Organizers have spoken for weeks about “simplifying” next year's Olympics to save money because of the delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic. But neither Mori nor CEO Toshiro Muto offered details on Friday, and nothing on what the delay will cost and who will pay.
Muto has mentioned “200” targets for downsizing, but offered on names.
The cost of the delay in Japan is estimated at $2 billion to $6 billion, with Japanese taxpayers picking up most of the bills. The International Olympic Committee has said it will chip in $650 million, but has not offered specifics.