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Tokyo Olympics will be most costly Summer Games, Oxford study shows

44 Comments
By STEPHEN WADE

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It's Japan, of course, and they haven't happened and probably won't. So the headline should be the most expensive games that never happened.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Tokyo Olympics will be most costly Summer Games, Oxford study shows

That's ¥0 coming in ¥69 Trillion going out? Sounds about right.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

The Olympics in their current form really needs to be abolished and a completely new way of organizing them be established. The IOC is beyond salvaging.

He said a major reason for the rising costs is that the IOC does not pay for them. He also cited rising security costs, and moving the games around the world. He calls this the “Eternal Beginner Syndrome” with new host cities starting basically from scratch.

This I think in a nutshell is why the system needs to be abandoned. That structure - IOC being able to demand whatever it wants and paying nothing for it, host cities bending over backwards to comply because they have no idea what they are doing - is just a disaster.

Tokyo is the perfect example. At every step in the process since they won the stupid bid, Tokyo's best option would have been to write off whatever money they had already invested and walk away from it. Yet making that decision is politically impossible once a city has tied its hands to the IOC, so at every juncture instead of walking away Tokyo has instead done nothing but throw more good money after bad, all for an event that is likely to produce zero benefit for the city.

Its insane. And this is how it works in a wealthy country with relatively little official corruption. In developing countries with rampant corruption its even worse.

Until they get rid of this cancerous organization I will not watch these idiotic games.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Flyvbjerg is an economist at Oxford's Said Business School. His entire study is available here

"There", surely?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Ludi sine gaudio ludi non sunt

Games without fun are not games

There is a distinct lack of "fun" surrounding this whole expensive farce.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

And we'll all be paying for it, whether it's cancelled or not. And the only plus is that if they decide to cancel it now instead of a few weeks before it's set to start, we'll save quite a bit more than if it goes through and becomes the huge failure it will be.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

So, where does this money go, and, can we get it back?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Hopefully borders are running more freely by then so I can get the hell out of here if they do end up happening.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Personally I lost interest in the Olympics quite some time ago. Its a giant scam.

However, theyre not going away so the old idea of basing them perpetually in Greece is an excellent idea. The "international community" could contribute periodically for costs, maintenance and modernization etc and it would do wonders for the ailing Greek economy. Win-Win.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

What a fiasco for the taxpayers. A fiasco.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

So, where does this money go, and, can we get it back?

M$ny already spent on meeting, bidding, meeting, stadium, meeting, flyers, meeting, logo design, meeting, redesigning, meeting, construction, meeting moving to Hokkaido, meeting, covid19, meeting, Olympics 2021, ... so on

8 ( +8 / -0 )

While I see the merit in "preparing" for a 2021 Games, I honestly have doubts that it will happen. I think it will take longer than expected even if COVID19 worldwide is brought "under control" by then for global travel to resume, much less return to pre-Covid19 days.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The IOC are one of the most corrupt and incompetent international organisations in existence. And anyone is surprised at the result of the study? However I applaud the authors for highlighting the problem and the inherent causes. With time hopefully people will stop their starry eyed politicians from even bidding for this nonsense and the corrupt organisation can be dismantled.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Well, it's not like the money could be spent better elsewhere! Click, click, clickety click!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Abe's legacy!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Yappari, Tokyo 2022, desu ne!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

To be fair, I myself saw that they've build a row of 16 retails stalls in Minamisanriku!!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The really interesting question is how does one actually stop a juggernaut like the Olympics - and I for one feel it is time to do so.

I supp;ose the answer is when no city/country is willing to put their name forward to host them. Poor Tokyo made a grievous mistake, even without the postponement - as did my city back in 2012.

The entire farce of all these international games should be wound up as soon as feasible.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So much money down the toire....

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The olympics should be the highest accolade of the sports contested. If an Olympic medal is not the pinnacle of the sport, its not included. So no golf, baseball, soccer, tennis and other sports where famous names turn out for some summer fun. Also drop the Paralympics, just a forced, expensive add on that no city really wants to host.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Rainyday,

I agree with your post above but a little nitpik on this bit:

Its insane. And this is how it works in a wealthy country with relatively little official corruption. In developing countries with rampant corruption its even worse.

Corruption in Japan is off the charts, it is so BAD here that the govt has incorporated corruption into the govts operations & has made a lot of it LEGAL!!! Think on Dentsu, they have been ripping off the populace for many decades now & that is just a tiny bit of the overall problem.

One of the reasons Japan is so in debt to itself is the LEGAL CORRUPTION, it is pervasive & everywhere. Also a big reason why we get so LITTLE value for money in Japan

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Corruption in Japan is off the charts, it is so BAD here that the govt has incorporated corruption into the govts operations & has made a lot of it LEGAL!!! Think on Dentsu, they have been ripping off the populace for many decades now & that is just a tiny bit of the overall problem.

One of the reasons Japan is so in debt to itself is the LEGAL CORRUPTION, it is pervasive & everywhere. Also a big reason why we get so LITTLE value for money in Japan

I’m aware that there is a lot of that type of shenanigans going on in Japan, as in all countries, but its still a world apart from the level of corruption in a lot of countries. When I go to city hall or any government agency here for something, I know I will be served fairly according to the rules and nobody expects a bribe or anything. That isn’t the case in a lot of places.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I’m aware that there is a lot of that type of shenanigans going on in Japan, as in all countries, but its still a world apart from the level of corruption in a lot of countries. When I go to city hall or any government agency here for something, I know I will be served fairly according to the rules and nobody expects a bribe or anything. That isn’t the case in a lot of places.

And you know that hour wait you have at some of these government agencies try dropping some YEN your hour wait magically becomes 5 minutes.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

“This is pretty similar to you and I giving the specs for a house that we are going to live in, but we don’t have to pay for it. How do you think we’d spend? We’d gold-plate it. This is what has happened over time."

Priceless. Frame this quote and put it on the wall of anyone considering hosting the Olympics in their city.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

And you know that hour wait you have at some of these government agencies try dropping some YEN your hour wait magically becomes 5 minutes.

Are you saying you bribed a government employee here in order to get faster service? Which agency was that?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

According to the Oxford numbers. Tokyo's spending is at $15.84 billion, already surpassing the 2012 London Olympics, which were the most expensive summer games to date at $14.95 billion.

But what is the expected revenue? It does not make any economic sense when you talk about its const side without talking about its revenue side, not to mention its non-economic benefits. There are certain things human beings do because of joys they bring regardless of their costs. How do you calculate that?

Costs of businesses by Apple and Toyota are far greater than most companies in the world and may be getting bigger and bigger, but it is not an issue because their revenues surpass their costs.

I am not suggesting Olympics are profitable or spending wisely, but it's important to talk about net profit/loss when you talk about an economic scale of anything.

It is important especially for a metropolitan city like Tokyo, where GDP is almost $2 trillion.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yeah right. Do you know factually, not all Japanese live in Tokyo and factually, we pay tax to...Tokyo

3 ( +3 / -0 )

And this is why I think the Olympics are now a corrupt disgrace.

Get the money and professional athletes out.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Too much burden is unhealthy. why not forget it???

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Vanity or self-satisfaction of Japanese nationalists and greed of giant Ad corporation Dentsu.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yes, blame every one else except the ones who caused this.

Here's a clue: Wuhan.

Here's another: ccp keeping it hidden and allowing it to spread to the world, killing thousands.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

For the games to happen a few logical and necessary steps must be made

a) the olympic village scrapped. In normal times the athletes see enough of each other. It is anachronistic.

b) supporting Officials and delegates must be reduced. Also media numbers.

3) it seems the only vaccine that can be ready intime is the Russian one, but , if only for political reasons, it is unlikely it will be used in sufficient numbers.

4) sponsors must scrap 80 % or more of their hospitality events, sponsorvillages aswell.

as is it is unlikely that i can convince the LOC of this, there will be no Olympics in 2021.

time to drastically overhaul and simplify and downsize the olympics anyway.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Let's send all invoices about extra costs to Beijing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

*Yes, blame every one else except the *ones who caused this.

I’m no fan of the CCP, but at the moment, the idea that this virus wasn’t anything other than a natural virus that could have sprung up anywhere, is just a conspiracy theory.

The CCP can be blamed for trying to cover it up at the start. It was a poor response.

Some countries responded well to the virus, contained it to an appropriate level, then slowly opened up with functioning economies and minimal spread of the virus.

Some counties utterly failed at their response. They hoped it would just go away, then tried reopening their economies before first containing the virus. Now their economies are suffering and their people are dying.

What a mess. I pity people in those countries having to suffer from such complete and utterly incompetent leadership.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They better have the Olympics. Our taxes paid for this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't know why we had to host the olympics. It is too expensive and stressful. This event will put the Japanese athletes and organisers under greater pressure and distress as it is our job to keep the venues safe and clean, and win as many medal as we can as a host contry. We should have postponed the event indefinetely or let the other candidate cities such as Istanbul have it at their own risk.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

To be fair and transparent Bent Flyvbjerg, is not a fan of the idea or ideology underpinning the “Olympics” ……Period.

Bent Flyvbjerg has been accused of being bias  

The Oxford Olympics Study 2016: Cost and Cost Overrun at the Games

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2804554

Reading the abstract in the 2016 study proves that Flyvbjerg, can hardly be described as objective.

Bent Flyvbjerg: Oxford Olympics Study 2016…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bx-lq_pOsUk

Olympic Proportions: Cost and Cost Overrun at the Olympics 1960-2012……

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2238053

Flyvbjerg misses the point spectacularly, the Olympics are a trial of strength, human endeavor, for athlete’s in their chosen sport/disciplines to display excellence to a global audience.

I am not a fan of the Olympics, however I respect and admire the athletes achievements.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

it's a write off, go get the insurance

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I feel so bad for Japan, because you have been punked...as has the rest of world regarding covid 19. All this media hype has caused real world problems that are far worse than the so called "covid 19". But the many must suffer for the few, I guess.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The only upside moving forward that the majority of countries will not want to hold the Olympics and it will be the Olympic committee who will have to pander and pay countries to get them to hold it instead of the other way around. The Olympic event cost has gotten way out of control cost wise in my view countries spending great fortunes and betting their tax payers money that there will be a big payday just as Japan did and now look at this time of uncertainty.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yes, blame every one else except the ones who caused this.

Here's a clue: Wuhan.

Wuhan caused the Olympics to be expensive? Pretty sure they were expensive before Covid.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I’m aware that there is a lot of that type of shenanigans going on in Japan, as in all countries, but its still a world apart from the level of corruption in a lot of countries. When I go to city hall or any government agency here for something, I know I will be served fairly according to the rules and nobody expects a bribe or anything. That isn’t the case in a lot of places.

Rainyday,

Let me clarify some, I wasnt referring to going to city hall for some paperwork or something, although they are notoriously overstaffed & are part of the problem.

I was referring to wasteful spending & unnecessary regulations etc. Couple examples:

I figure govt spending is wasting typically 20-30% of whats shelled out, that can go higher if its construction related

Another example is NEXCO, the folks who ""run"" the highways around Japan....massive $$$ pit

Here are two terms that cost the country of Japan DEARLY!! Amakudari & Dango this is widespread & costs us tax payers dearly.

Corruption, illegal & the stuff the govt has made legal is absolutely colossal here in Japan. Again THAT is things in Japan are so expensive & we get little value for $$$(think typical housing for example)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let me clarify some, I wasnt referring to going to city hall for some paperwork or something, although they are notoriously overstaffed & are part of the problem.

I was referring to wasteful spending & unnecessary regulations etc. Couple examples:

I figure govt spending is wasting typically 20-30% of whats shelled out, that can go higher if its construction related

Another example is NEXCO, the folks who ""run"" the highways around Japan....massive $$ pit

Here are two terms that cost the country of Japan DEARLY!! Amakudari & Dango this is widespread & costs us tax payers dearly.

Corruption, illegal & the stuff the govt has made legal is absolutely colossal here in Japan. Again THAT is things in Japan are so expensive & we get little value for $$(think typical housing for example)

No disagreement there. But wasteful spending and regulations are present in all countries, while corruption of the type I described (needing to pay bribes to get anything done) comes on top of that in some countries, but rarely occurs in Japan, which was the point I was trying to make originally.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Again THAT is things in Japan are so expensive & we get little value for $$(think typical housing for example)

Not to nit pic, but housing in Japan is actually extremely affordable. I own a house in a major city here. On the same salary in a big city in my home country, I would definitely not be able to buy a house.

And in the countryside its even more extreme, house prices are so cheap they are literally giving them away in some places.

There is a lot that bothers me about the housing market in Japan, but one really good thing about it is that home ownership is still affordable enough for the working class to aspire to it, even in big cities. You can’t say that about a lot of places in Europe or North America anymore.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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