The price tag keeps soaring for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics despite local organizers and the International Olympic Committee saying that spending is being cut.
A report just released by the national government’s Board of Audit shows Japan is likely to spend $25 billion to prepare the Games, and the final number could go even higher.
This is nearly a four-fold increase over Tokyo’s winning bid in 2013, which the report said projected costs of 829 billion yen, or $7.3 billion at the current exchange rate of 113 yen to the dollar.
Tracking Tokyo costs is getting more difficult as work speeds up, deadlines near and disputes arise about what are and what are not Olympic expenses. Complicated accounting also makes it difficult to figure out who pays for what, and who profits.
“It’s the most amazing thing that the Olympic Games are the only type of megaproject to always exceed their budget,” Bent Flyvberg, an authority on Olympic budgeting, said in explaining his research: “The Oxford Olympics Study 2016.”
Flyvberg said the study failed to “find even one” Olympics that came in on or below budget.
Tokyo is a case study.
In December, the Tokyo organizing committee said the Olympic budget was 1.35 trillion yen, or about $12 billion.
This consisted of equal contributions of 600 billion yen ($5.3 billion) from the organizing committee and the
Tokyo metropolitan government, with another 150 billion yen ($1.3 billion) coming from the national government.