International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach on Thursday said his body is preparing to spend up to $800 million for extra costs necessitated by the one-year postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Speaking via teleconference following an online meeting of the IOC's executive board, the first since the opening date for the Tokyo Games was rescheduled for July 23, 2021, Bach said the uncertainty of the new coronavirus pandemic and how it was affecting the Tokyo Olympics in terms of costs but also how it may impact Olympics in the future once the current crisis passes.
"Nobody knows what the world looks like tomorrow," Bach said. "You can't put a number on something you don't know is going to happen."
Up to $650 million, he said would be for the IOC's share of organizing the postponed Olympics, with up to $150 million in support for international federations and national Olympic committees and other recognized agencies. He was not specific about the costs that will be born on the hosts' side, saying only that the IOC was continuing to talk with its Japanese partners.
Bach praised the work of the task force charged with transforming a plan for an event in 2020 into one for 2021, and insisted that the main priority would be the safety of all the principals. He declined, however, to talk about specifics such as vaccines or holding the games behind closed doors.
Although public health experts around the world have said the games would not be feasible without a vaccine for the coronavirus, Bach said the IOC would rely on advice from the task force and the World Health Organization.
"All this will depend on the developments in the months to come. We are now 1 year, 2 months away. It is way too early to draw any conclusions now," Bach said.
Because of the additional expenses demanded by the postponement, Bach said that once the chief priorities are ensured, the IOC would be extremely open minded about cost-cutting measures, including expenditures on hospitality.
"This situation requires compromises, requires sacrifices by everybody," Bach said. "Therefore we are leaving no stone unturned in this respect to reduce the cost while maintaining the spirit of the games and the quality of the sports competition."
"(Once we get) around these principles there are no taboos and everything is on the table and this also includes the service level for the stake holders of the Olympic movement."
Bach who dodged a question about the possibility of a further postponement should the world health crisis fail to ease, said however, he expected the hard looks now being toward cost cutting could provide lessons for future Olympics.
"We are already in discussion with Paris 2024 on a wider scope about what can be transferred from the new measures we are taking in Tokyo," he said. "How can Paris 2024 benefit from this new approach in line with a new norm...looking into reduction of costs or -- better said -- focusing on the essentials of the games?"