Africa: Delayed and Fanless Tokyo Olympics Has Come At Great Cost


The delayed 2020 Olympics has already come at great cost to the city and Japan as a whole. But the Covid-19 pandemic has also forced the Games to go fanless, adding to the cost of hosting sport’s biggest single gathering.

Despite public opposition in Japan over fears of new coronavirus surges, the Tokyo Olympic Games that were postponed in 2020 will get under way on 23 July, with spectators now barred from all events.

The delay and crowd restrictions on the Games, which will end on 8 August, have been expensive in various ways. Here are some areas where costs have grown, and where income that had been expected will not materialise.

Olympic costs

Organisers said in December 2020 that the entire cost of holding the Games would be about $15.4-billion (about R224-billion), including $2.8-billion for the unprecedented postponement from 2020. Since then, the projected bill for postponement has risen to $3-billion.

Organisers initially sold about 4.48 million tickets and the government had expected a tourism windfall, before first overseas visitors and then domestic spectators were ruled out.

Ticket revenues had initially been expected at about 90 billion yen ($815-million) but will now drop to virtually nothing.

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