Games Must Go On

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    • Even without the added postponement costs, Tokyo 2020 is the most expensive Olympic Games.

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Regardless of the status of the COVID-19 pandemic next summer, the Tokyo Olympics will happen in 2021, according to International Olympic Committee Vice President John Coates. July 23, 2021 will be the start date for the “Games that conquered Covid.”

Pulling off the Olympic Games in 2021 will significantly increase the cost of what is already the most expensive Summer Games in history — likely to the tune of another several billion dollars. A study by the University of Oxford found the Tokyo Olympics have already passed the 2012 London Games as the most expensive Summer Games.

“The Olympics offer the highest level of risk a city can take on,” Oxford economist Bent Flyvbjerg told the AP. “The trend cannot continue. No city will want to do this because it’s just too expensive, putting themselves into a debt that most cities cannot afford.”

Olympic Spending:

$15.84 billion — Tokyo’s spending before billions more are likely added due to the delay.

$14.95 billion — 2012 London Olympics, the most expensive to date.

$7.3 billion — Estimate from Tokyo organizers in 2013.