Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The 2020 Summer Olympics will open in Tokyo, Japan, exactly one year from today.

The state of play: After years of coaxing host cities to splurge on stadiums and other expenses, the International Olympic Committee is trying to rebrand the Olympics as "cost-sensitive." Tokyo 2020 could be the last of a dying breed, with a budget of around $25 billion and a handful of lavish projects to its name.

  • It has awarded the next two Summer Games to Paris and Los Angeles, both of whom promised to use existing venues and control costs. Paris estimates it can stage the Olympics for $8 billion, while L.A's latest projection is $7 billion.

Sponsorship success: Local sponsorship revenue has already surpassed $3 billion, three times the previous record set by London in 2012. How'd they do it? By tapping into Japan's strong sense of national pride.

"There's definitely a culture in Japan where, if it's in the country's best interest, signing up [as a sponsor] is almost required. ... I mean, the guy who runs Tokyo 2020 is a former prime minister, so there's very much a sense of loyalty to making sure that this national event goes as well as possible."
— Freelance Olympics journalist Aaron Bauer (read his newsletter)

Weather threat: Organizers are worried that an extreme heat wave could hit the Olympics following record temperatures last year that killed almost 100 people.

  • Solution: Tokyo's roads are currently being resurfaced with a reflective material, and all 2020 marathon events have already been moved up to 6 a.m. local time to avoid the heat.

Preventing congestion: There is a fear that the arrival of over half a million foreign and domestic tourists will overload Tokyo's notoriously strained public transit system.

  • Solution: Over half a million Tokyo residents are being asked to work from home during the Olympics. Remote work isn't really a thing in Japan the way it is here, so they've been holding practice days to prepare.
  • Fun fact: Tokyo's Shinjuku Station is the world's busiest train station (3.6 million daily passengers and 200 exits).

Huge ticket demand: Last month's lottery saw 7.5 million people register for the chance to buy 3.2 million tickets. Demand is so high that one analyst estimates 80%–90% of Japan residents who applied for tickets could end up with nothing.

"This is probably going to be the most popular Olympics, and possibly one of the most popular events of all time. I'm interested in seeing ... how the organizing committee addresses this. It's good news for the demand, and bad news [for] the public."
— Ken Hanscom, COO of TicketManager, per AP

Go deeper: Tokyo's skyline is growing ahead of 2020 Olympics

Go deeper

Updated 56 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:15 p.m. ET: 21,261,598 — Total deaths: 767,054— Total recoveries: 13,284,647Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:15 p.m. ET: 5,324,930 — Total deaths: 168,703 — Total recoveries: 1,796,326 — Total tests: 65,676,624Map.
  3. Health: The coronavirus-connected heart ailment that could lead to sudden death in athletes — Patients grow more open with their health data during pandemic.
  4. States: New York to reopen gyms, bowling alleys, museums.
  5. Business: How small businesses got stiffed — Unemployment starts moving in the right direction.
  6. Politics: Biden signals fall strategy with new ads.

Kamala Harris and the political rise of America's Indian community

Vice presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

When Democrats next week formally nominate the daughter of an Indian immigrant to be vice president, it'll be perhaps the biggest leap yet in the Indian American community's rapid ascent into a powerful political force.

Why it matters: Indian Americans are one of the fastest-growing, wealthiest and most educated demographic groups in the U.S. Politicians work harder every year to woo them. And in Kamala Harris, they'll be represented in a major-party presidential campaign for the first time.

6 hours ago - Health

The cardiac threat coronavirus poses to athletes

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Cardiologists are increasingly concerned that coronavirus infections could cause heart complications that lead to sudden cardiac death in athletes.

Why it matters: Even if just a tiny percentage of COVID-19 cases lead to major cardiac conditions, the sheer scope of the pandemic raises the risk for those who regularly conduct the toughest physical activity — including amateurs who might be less aware of the danger.