Apr 13, 2020 - Sports

Tokyo Olympics' coronavirus delay could cost Japan and IOC billions

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach. Photo: Denis Balibouse/pool/AFP via Getty Images

The coronavirus-induced delay of the 2020 Summer Olympics could cost billions of dollars, with Japan and the International Olympic Committee footing the bill, reports the AP.

Why it matters: IOC president Thomas Bach said this weekend that his organization will likely face "several hundred million dollars" of added costs as Japan covers the rest — with estimates pegging the total postponement costs at $2 billion to $6 billion.

  • An agreement signed in 2013 when Tokyo was awarded the Olympics forces Japan to be on the hook for the majority of the postponement costs.

Toshiro Muto, the CEO of the Tokyo organizing committee, said last week that the pandemic could even threaten the games going ahead next year.

  • "I don’t think anyone would be able to say if it is going to be possible to get it under control by next July or not," he said. "We certainly are not in a position to give you a clear answer."

The big picture: Before the pandemic, Japan estimated that the Games would cost at least $12.6 billion, though a 2019 government audit said they would likely cost twice that.

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