The Tokyo 2020 Olympics, held in 2021 after being postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, cost 1.42 trillion yen ($10.4 billion) or Rs 81,320 crore, nearly double the figure quoted in the city’s bid for the Games, according to a final budget report. The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee held its last meeting late Tuesday (June 21) and is due to disband at the end of the month.

Tokyo won the Olympics in 2013, offering a ‘safe pair of hands’ and with a substantial amount of money already in the bank. However, costs swelled leading up to the Games, including for the rebuilding the New National Stadium, used for the opening and closing ceremonies as well as track and field events.

Costs also surged in connection with postponing the Games by a year and for measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus when the Games were finally held, without spectators, in 2021. “In the face of unprecedented difficulties, all the parties concerned worked together tremendously for the success of the Games and for carrying it off safely and securely,” Seiko Hashimoto, the organising committee’s president, told a news conference.

Sapporo, capital of the northernmost island of Hokkaido, is bidding to host the 2030 Winter Games.

A University of Oxford study in 2020 said Tokyo was the most expensive Olympics on record. There is one undeniable fact: more than half of the costs were paid for by public money – Tokyo’s government, the national government and other government entities.

In the several years prior to the Olympics, government audits found official costs might have been twice as much as stated, meaning the public portion of the bill might be far more than half.The International Olympic Committee in its annual report says it contributed about $1.9 billion to cover Tokyo costs.

It’s impossible to assess the long-term impact of the Tokyo Olympics, particularly in a sprawling city like the Japanese capital where change is constant. The pandemic erased any short-term tourism bounce. Local sponsors, who paid more than $3 billion to be linked to the Olympics, didn’t seem very happy according to local reports.

(with Reuters inputs)

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