The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, explained on Sunday 22 that canceling the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games “would destroy the Olympic dream of 11,000 athletes“His statements came after the news broke that the highest body in charge of the competition was considering postponing it. And it would not be surprising. Since the world coronavirus crisis, several massive events have already been canceled or postponed, as is the case of the Eurocup or Eurovisón. The last bastion that still stands is the Olympic Games, but given the circumstances, the question is frequent: Why are they not suspended? Or rather, Is it just for the dreams of athletes?
IOC President Thomas Bach
The serious economic losses that a cancellation of these magnitudes can entail are vox populi. However, after the IOC announced the four-week deadline to consider the future of the games, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assumed the possibility of these being suspended. The first thing that comes to mind at this point is the impact it would have on Tokyo tourism, but the importance of this industry on the Japanese economy. it’s still very light. According to the CEIC economic studies office, tourist spending is barely were 0.9% of Japan’s GDP in 2018.
On the other hand, the expense that they have already made for the construction of infrastructure appears and, although there are no official figures about it, at the end of 2019, the organizers estimated that this would reach the 11,500 million euros, divided between several agents: the city of Tokyo (5,037 million), the Japanese Organizing Committee (5,087) and the central state (1,265 million). However, since the Olympic Games. of Moscow (1980), which suffered an attempt by the United States to sabotage -it was the years of the Cold War- risk insurance is usually used for what could happen. A crisis like that of the coronavirus is covered.
Breach of contract with TV
So what is the problem? The crux of the matter lies, above all, in television rights, which have become one of the most important sources of income for the IOC. For example, the US network NBC paid 4,380 million for the four editions of games that took place between 2014 and 2020. And while the Olympic Games. they had already sold the broadcasting rights, the chains had done the same with the advertising spaces. This is where a possible claim comes in from all operators, as well as from other agents related to advertising, which would raise the figure of expenses to a very improbable figure of entering within an insurance item.
In addition, as has happened with the Euro Cup, which has had to be postponed for a year in order not to coincide with other competitions and release the schedule, the 2020 Olympics have some very limited date options. Looking again towards the chains, we must put our eye on the NCB, which in late 2020 celebrates the NFL, so you don’t want them to come together in time.
The Olympic Village, a forgotten factor
Another derived problem would be the Olympic Village, that is, the apartments that are arranged to house the members of the different delegations. These were already sold to other individuals, who had planned to enter to live before 2023, previously waiting for a process of readjustment. If the competition is postponed, the delivery period is also postponed, with the consequent breach of deadlines and renegotiation of the contract.
Be that as it may, it seems that Tokyo is on the way to suspend an Olympic Games for the second time in its history. And is that the Japanese city had to resign in 1940 to be the summer venue for the expansionist policy in China. Helsinki then assumed the role of host, although the competition was eventually suspended due to World War II, going down in history as the “Missing Games“