Tokyo organizers and IOC dismiss study showing Olympic costs rising

The CEO of the Tokyo Olympics and therefore the IOC member responsible for Japan's games have dismissed a replacement study from the University of Oxford that finds Tokyo is the costliest Summer Games since 1960.

Tokyo, postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, is merely a little a part of economist Bent Flyvbjerg’s study which was published on Tuesday and titled, “Regression to the Tail: Why the Olympics magnify .”

The analysis within the journal “Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space” — the third during a series following editions 2012 and 2016 — looks at Olympic costs and finds they keep increasing despite claims by the International Olympic Committee that costs are being cut.

Cost overruns for the Olympics have averaged 170 percent, and Flyvbjerg says Tokyo is over 200 percent.

“Well, i'm conscious of the report within the media. But there was no official statement given to the Tokyo organizing committee,” Tokyo CEO Toshiro Muto said on Tuesday in a web press conference . “So I'm not in a position to discuss that. i'm just simply confused.”

IOC Vice President John Coates, who oversees planning for Tokyo, also brushed aside the Oxford study.

“I’ve taken the view that I’ve got more productive things to do with my time than to analyze that report and respond to it,” Coates told the Australian Financial Review newspaper on Tuesday.

Flyvbjerg got a similar response from the IOC when the report came out unofficially a few days ago. The IOC criticized his work, questioned the numbers and methodology. In response, Flyvbjerg sent an open letter to IOC President Thomas Bach, offering details.

Flyvbjerg said on Tuesday the IOC had not replied. On Monday, the IOC told the Associated Press it would have no further comment.

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