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The true cost of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

The opportunity to host the largest sporting event in the world comes with a hefty price tag.

Tokyo 2020

The world is quickly approaching the starting blocks in Japan, with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games set to begin next week – almost a year behind schedule. The upcoming event is reportedly the most expensive Summer Olympics to date.

As the nation continues to welcome athletes and officials from around the world, COVID-19 infections have been the highest in Japan since January, prompting a state of emergency. The global pandemic forced Tokyo 2020 to be delayed by a year.

Despite enforcing strict COVID restrictions, one of the most debated Games in history are set to take place with the Opening Ceremony on 23 July.

This hasn’t been the first time the Olympics have been disrupted in Japan. Tokyo and Sapporo were chosen to host the 1940 Games – making it the first non-Western nation to be selected. However, a war broke out between China and Japan where the Japanese Government forfeited its right to host.

More than two decades later Japan had a second chance and successfully hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics.

In the lead up to Tokyo 2020, here are some of the figures surrounding the sporting institution in its 32nd lap around the track.

The true cost of Tokyo 2020

The price of victory

The final cost of Tokyo 2020 is expected to be upwards of US$25 billion, almost double the cost of the Rio Games in 2016.

The postponement, as well as increased health measures, added US$2.8 billion to the bill.

While the Tokyo price tag dwarfs its summertime predecessors, it can’t hold a torch to the US$51 billion Sochi Winter Olympics of 2014.

Organisers of the Paris 2024 Olympics are already moving to cut costs, with a sweeping series of changes set to shave around US$484 million from the final budget.

Going for gold

One summer record has already been broken: even a year out from the 2020 Opening Ceremony, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) reported 62 Japanese sponsors had generated more than US$3 billion. That’s three times greater than any previous Games.

Speaking of sponsorship, to land a spot in the top 15 so-called Gold Partners will set you back a nine-figure sum.

Sponsorship became a major part of the Olympics in 1984, when the Los Angeles Games became the first since 1932 to turn a profit thanks to extensive corporate sponsorship deals.

Created in 1985 in response to the LA success, the Olympic Partner (TOP) program has raised more than US$4.6 billion and counting in the years since.

Universal appeal

Among the local openings designed to capitalise on the Olympic tourist boom is the hotly anticipated Super Nintendo World, a US$580 million expansion of Universal Studios Japan.

Nintendo has become something of an unofficial Olympic sponsor; Super Mario stole the show at the closing ceremony of the Rio Games, leading to a 3.5 per cent stock boost for the company.

Feature image: International Olympics Committee

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