Sunday December 3, 2023

Olympic Price Problems

Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports
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Tokyo Olympics costs continue to swell because of the pandemic, and domestic sponsors have contributed a record amount to help pay.

Sponsor contributions total $3.3 billion to date — at least twice as much as for any previous Olympics — but it’s apparently not enough.

“We are in the process of asking for additional sponsorship [payments] from our partners,” Tokyo organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said last week.

Japanese airline ANA, travel agency JTB, financial services company Nomura, both Narita and Haneda airports, and food makers like Kikkoman and Nissin are among domestic sponsors. 

Postponing the Olympics to 2021 is projected to add $2.8 billion to its budget. The official cost of the event is $12.6 billion, but recent audits suggest the actual cost will be more than twice that. 

Japanese tax payers will foot most of the bill and their anti-Olympics sentiment is growing. 

  • A November poll by TV Asahi found that almost 60% of respondents want the Tokyo Olympics further postponed or canceled
  • The public is wary of international fans who could set back Japan’s relatively successful containment of COVID-19
  • Citizens have publicly protested the displacement of communities for new Olympic venues 

No domestic sponsors have publicly stated that they’re against additional financial contributions to the Games, but some have reportedly been advised against speaking with the media.

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