Tokyo Olympics budget six times more than original estimate

Terror concerns and the rising cost of construction and materials in Japan are being blamed for the still-growing budget.
By Stephen Feller   |   Dec. 19, 2015 at 6:25 PM
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TOKYO, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- The budget for the 2020 Summer Olympic games in Tokyo has ballooned to about six times what was originally proposed because of terrorism concerns and other additional costs that had not been previously factored in, according to government officials.

Japan has been looking to slash costs for months, an effort that already caused changes to plans for a new flagship Olympic stadium -- which would replace the one built for the 1964 Summer Olympics held there.

Cost overruns for the Olympics are normal, organizers point out, referring to the winter Olympics in Sochi that cost Russia a record $51 billion to host.

The Tokyo Olympics is now expected to cost about $15 billion, six times the original $2.5 billion budget, according to NHK. The budget now includes $2.5 billion for athletic facilities, $2.2 billion in facility rentals, $1.6 billion to pay security firms, and $1.5 billion for transportation.

Officials scrapped the new stadium as rising costs for construction and materials in Japan doubled the original estimate over the $2 billion mark. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was said to have cut the Olympic budget by a third in September by a third as it continued to grow.

"It's not going too far to say that Tokyo 2020 will be the first Games of its type," Toshiro Muto, head of the Tokyo Olympic committee, told Bloomberg. "In Japan in particular, fiscal problems are very sensitive. Some people want this to be an opportunity to build stadiums as in the past, but if we keep on doing that, we will gradually lose public support. The IOC has a sense of crisis about this and we feel the same way."

Officials have not yet selected a new stadium design, although the L.A. Times reported the committee hoped to cap stadium construction costs at $1.27 billion -- three times the cost of new stadiums built in London and Beijing for the last two Olympics.

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