Olympics: Tokyo keeps budget at $12.6 billion, more work needed

The construction site of the New National Stadium, the main stadium of Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, is seen in Tokyo, Japan August 6, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO (Reuters) – The 2020 Summer Olympics budget remains unchanged at $12.6 billion after increases in some areas were offset by reductions in others, with Games organizers acknowledging on Friday that more work was needed to curb spending.

Organizers have been working to cut expenses since a study warned they could balloon to four times estimates made during the bidding process, while the International Olympic Committee (IOC) wants Tokyo to set a good example for future host cities.

However, the third version of the budget announced on Friday was equal to the projection issued last year, after organizers had managed to reduce it from the $14 billion outlay unveiled two years ago.

“There is still a lot of work to be done to control expenditure,” Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto said in a statement.

“But with the cooperation of the IOC, Tokyo 2020 will continue to make best efforts to maximize revenues, contain costs and keep its budget within 600 billion yen ($5.6 billion),” he said, referring to the organizing committee’s portion of the overall budget.

Organizers said requirements were becoming clearer with less than 600 days to go until the event, prompting them to bump up estimates for transportation and Games operations by $100 million apiece.

However, those increases were offset by a reduction in a contingencies reserve and through other savings, with organizers also highlighting robust domestic sponsor revenues, up $100 million from last year to $3 billion.

Of the overall budget, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government accounts for $5.6 billion and the central government $1.4 billion, unchanged from last year.

(Figures are based on the 107 yen per dollar rate set in version 1 of the budget.)

Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by John O’Brien

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