Economics of Olympics: All the money in Tokyo’s summer games

Over 60 Japanese companies came together to sponsor $3 billion for the Olympics games that was delayed by a year.

The cost of hosting the Olympics was estimated to be about $15.4 billion back in December, including $2.8 billion for the postponement.

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After a whole year’s delay, the Tokyo Olympics are here. The world’s best will once again compete head-to-head in the pool, on the track, around the velodrome and high above the trampoline.

Your favorite Summer Games were initially scheduled for Tokyo in July and August last year. They were delayed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic. But the good news is that the games began from July 23 to Aug. 8, 2021.

How much does it cost to host the Olympics?

The cost of hosting the Olympics was estimated to be about $15.4 billion back in December, including $2.8 billion for the postponement. Ever since, the projected bill for postponement went up to a solid $3 billion.

Organizers had initially sold 4.48 million tickets expecting a tourism windfall. But eventually, because of the pandemic, the overseas visitors and domestic spectators were ruled out.

The ticket revenues were expected to hit $815 million (90 billion Yen) but will now drop to virtually nothing.

How do they raise so much money?

Over 60 Japanese companies came together to sponsor $3 billion for the games. Sponsors even included another $200 million to extend contracts after the games were postponed.

Do the Olympic medalists get paid?

Of course, they get paid. Olympians make money by competing in the games through endorsements. Not a lot is told about how much each athlete takes home but US gold medalists take home $37,000, silver medal winners receive $22,500 and bronze medalists get $15,000 from the US Olympic Committee.

What else do the medalists get?

Olympic medalists take home their most prized possessions — their medal and their prize money. They also receive a couple of gifts when they win. This year, medalists will stand on the podium with special victory bouquets, which haven’t been used by a host city since the London 2012 Olympics.

Did it affect the economy?

Yes, it did! The Olympics that were to be held in 2020 expected a huge tourist draw, but banning spectators — both inland and foreign took a toll on the tourism industry.

The Olympics Games are being held behind closed doors without spectators. Due to the massive amount of investment that was put in to host the event, not having spectators is a bitter pill for the public and organizers to swallow.

The cost overruns became the norm for Olympics host cities. The postponement alone cost Japan close to $2.8 billion. Over two-thirds of the amount was covered through public funding. 

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