Tokyo Olympics most expensive Summer Games: Study

Tokyo, September 4

The Tokyo Olympics are already the most costly Summer Games on file with prices set to go larger, a wide-ranging examine from Britain’s University of Oxford signifies.

The Tokyo value overrun already exceeds 200 per cent, lead writer Bent Flyvbjerg defined in an interview with The Associated Press. This is even earlier than a number of billion extra {dollars} are added on from the one-year delay from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Flyvbjerg is an economist at Oxford’s Said Business School. His total examine is accessible right here, and it is set to be revealed on September 15 within the journal “Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space”.       

It’s titled “Regression to the Tail: Why the Olympics Blow Up”.

Tokyo Games, postponed till July 23, 2021, is just a small a part of the main focus. The examine — the third in a collection following editions 2012 and 2016 — seems to be at Olympic prices since 1960 and finds they hold rising regardless of claims by the International Olympic Committee that prices are being minimize.

Flyvbjerg cites many causes for the rising prices and price overruns, and gives options for the IOC. The overwhelming majority of prices are picked up by governments with the IOC contributing solely a small portion.

“The Olympics provide the best stage of danger a metropolis can tackle,” Flyvbjerg advised AP.

“The development can not proceed. No metropolis will wish to do that as a result of it is simply too costly, placing themselves right into a debt that the majority cities can not afford.”

In his paper, Flyvbjerg cites Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, whose metropolis is to carry the 2028 Olympics following Paris in 2024.

“Most cities, until you might have a authorities that is prepared to enter debt or pay the subsidy of what this prices, most cities won’t ever say ‘sure’ to the Olympics once more until they discover the precise mannequin,” he quotes Garcetti as saying.

By the precise mannequin, Garcetti means decrease prices.

Tracking Olympic prices is troublesome, a dense maze of overlap and debate. Politicians and organisers at all times argue over what are — and what aren’t — Olympic bills.

Flyvbjerg writes: “Unfortunately, Olympics officers and hosts typically misinform concerning the prices and price overruns of the Games. … We due to this fact can not rely on organisers, the IOC, and governments to supply us with dependable details about the actual prices, value overruns, and price dangers of the Olympic Games.”

Flyvbjerg seems to be solely at prices to function the video games — the working prices and capital prices — the fee to construct sports activities venues. He leaves out a 3rd class, which is often many instances bigger: renovating roads, constructing airports, and what he calls “sprucing up projects,” which additionally fall to taxpayers.

“Our estimates are conservative because there are lots of costs that are hidden that we can’t get into,” Flyvbjerg mentioned. “And there are many prices we determined to not embody as a result of it is too advanced. We embody the issues we are able to get essentially the most dependable numbers for and we do it in the identical manner for every metropolis that we examine.”

He additionally excludes the price of debt, and the long run value of working sports activities venues after the Olympics depart, and inflation.

According to the Oxford numbers. Tokyo’s spending is at $15.84 billion, already surpassing the 2012 London Olympics, which had been the most costly summer season video games up to now at USD 14.95 billion. He expects a number of billion extra from the price of the one-year delay.

Tokyo organisers say formally they’re spending $12.6 billion. However, a nationwide auditor says the precise prices are twice that top, made up of some bills that the Oxford examine omits as a result of they aren’t fixed between completely different Olympics.

Tokyo mentioned the fee could be USD 7.three billion when it gained the bid in 2013.

“They (IOC) obviously don’t like our results, but it’s very difficult to counter a piece of rigorous research like this,” Flyvbjerg said. “And they haven’t done that, and they can’t do that. Our research is a problem for them.”

In an e-mail to Associated Press, the IOC mentioned it had not seen the most recent Oxford examine and declined to remark. It referenced one other examine by Mainz and Sorbonne universities.

This examine additionally discovered Olympic value overruns however mentioned they had been consistent with different large-scale initiatives. Flyvbjerg’s examine finds they aren’t.

Flyvbjerg mentioned he had been in contact on and off with the IOC and had despatched a colleague to an IOC workshop. He mentioned a significant purpose for the rising prices was that the IOC didn’t pay for them.

He additionally cited rising safety prices, and shifting the video games all over the world. He calls this the “Eternal Beginner Syndrome” with new host cities beginning principally from scratch.

He’s mentioned the IOC has tried just lately to rein in prices, however the effort was “too little, too late.”

“They (IOC) define the specs but don’t pay for them,” Flyvbjerg mentioned. “This is fairly much like you and I giving the specs for a home that we’re going to stay in, however we do not have to pay for it. How do you assume we might spend? We’d gold-plate it. This is what has occurred over time.” Flyvbjerg mentioned he is relish an opportunity to sit down and speak with IOC President Thomas Bach. He calls himself a fan of the Olympics.

“It’s not that the IOC hasn’t been willing to talk, or I am not willing to talk,” he mentioned. “We certainly are. We have communicated in writing to keep the IOC informed. But yes, we would like to sit down with Thomas Bach.” AP

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