Olympics-Next Tokyo budget due soon as cost cuts continue

Reuters

TOKYO, Dec 13 (Reuters) - International Olympic Committee Vice-President John Coates said on Wednesday that the IOC and Tokyo 2020 organisers were continuing to explore cost reductions and that the next version of the budget would be completed by the end of the year.

Coates said the two parties were working on finding savings in 25 areas and expressed confidence that the budget, to be presented at the IOC's executive board meeting in Pyeongchang in February, would reflect those efforts.

However, he warned they needed to remain vigilant on costs.

"Cost cutting is an ongoing exercise," he told a news conference after an IOC coordination commission visit to Tokyo.

Although he was confident they would achieve "significant savings" over the next two-and-a-half years, "I also have to be aware that history shows that sometimes things can get out of hand," Coates said.

"So we have to be very careful."

Games organisers have been working to slash costs after a study last year warned expenses could balloon to four times the initial estimate made during the bid process.

The IOC is keen for Tokyo to cut costs further and set a good example to attract future candidate cities.

Version one of the budget, issued in December last year, showed projected costs of $14 billion excluding contingencies, and the IOC and organisers managed to trim that to $12.9 billion by June, the most recent figures show. (Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by John O'Brien)

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