- Title: Tokyo 2020 Olympic board displeased with possible venue changes
- Date: 29th September 2016
- Summary: TV SCREEN DISPLAYING TOKYO 2020 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC LOGOS (CENTER RIGHT) TOKYO 2020 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE, YOSHIRO MORI, HOLDING HIS OPENING REMARKS
- Embargoed: 14th October 2016 11:03
- Keywords: Tokyo 2020 Olympics board executive venue changes
- Location: TOKYO, JAPAN
- City: TOKYO, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Olympics,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA00251MB2NZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic committee vice director Hiroshi Sato said the executive board expressed displeasure about the possibility of venue changes for three sports on Thursday (September 29).
A Tokyo panel earlier in the day urged changes to three venues for the 2020 Olympics in the face of ballooning costs, while organizers say such adjustments may prove difficult to instigate in time for the Games.
Tokyo touted access to a $4.5 billion war chest when it beat Madrid and Istanbul in its successful 2013 bid for the Summer Games but recently elected governor Yuriko Koike campaigned on reining in ballooning costs and ordered a review of expenses.
The proposed changes, which could include moving rowing and canoeing some 400 km (250 miles) from Tokyo, would require the approval of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and each sport's international federation.
They are the latest in a series of embarrassing setbacks and broken promises for organizers, who won the bid largely on Japan's reputation for efficiency.
Tokyo's bid proposal, for example, said some 85 percent of venues would be within 8 km (5 miles) of the Olympic Village in central Tokyo.
According to a preliminary report, released on the same day as an executive board meeting of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, overall costs could surge to more than four times original estimates of 734 billion yen ($7.24 billion).
When it won the Games, Tokyo said they would bring in economic benefits of 3 trillion yen and create 150,000 jobs.
To cut back, the panel proposed reconsidering the construction of three new venues -- for volleyball, swimming and rowing/canoeing -- in favour of using existing venues.
For rowing and canoeing, they suggested three possible sites outside Tokyo, including a city in northeastern Miyagi prefecture, hours north of the capital.
Volleyball and swimming could be covered by renovating existing venues in downtown Tokyo, not far from the site of the Olympic Village, the panel said.
The rowing venue, estimated to cost 6.9 billion yen ($68 million) now comes in at 49.1 billion yen ($484 million), the panel noted.
But organizers expressed doubts, saying it might be difficult to win acceptance for changes.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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