Sapporo mayor hints at his city’s plan to host 2030 Winter Olympics

The IOC has yet to decide the host city for 2030 Winter Olympics, but Sapporo appears to be willing and able to play host yet again.


Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Athletics - Men's Marathon - Sapporo Odori Park, Sapporo, Japan - August 8, 2021. General view of the athletes in action on the streets of Sapporo REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Athletics - Men's Marathon - Sapporo Odori Park, Sapporo, Japan - August 8, 2021. General view of the athletes in action on the streets of Sapporo REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

The 2030 Winter Olympic Games are just over eight years away, and although no host city has been named, the mayor of Sapporo, Japan believes his city is up to the challenge, and will deliver the Games under budget as well.

At a news conference Monday Mayor Katsuhiro Akimoto said he plans to conduct a public opinion survey in early 2022, however plans appear to be already underway to prep Sapporo as a potential host city.

“We will communicate our ideas about the bid for the Games and figure out the expectations and concerns of the public about the Winter Olympics and Paralympics,” the mayor’s statement read. “Those opinions will be incorporated into all future planning studies.”

Sapporo officials believe they could host the 2030 Winter Games at a cost of roughly $2.5-2.7 billion. The official cost of the just completed Tokyo 2020 Summer Games was over $15 billion. It’s projected about $700 million for Sapporo would come from taxpayers, with the rest covered by sponsors, ticket sales and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). This is a 20 percent decrease in costs from a 2019 estimate.

People take souvenir photos with the Olympic rings at Odori park in Sapporo, Japan, August 7, 2021.   REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
People take souvenir photos with the Olympic rings at Odori park in Sapporo, Japan, August 7, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Sapporo hosted the Winter Games in 1972 and could face stiff competition from Vancouver and Salt Lake City, both of whom have previously hosted the Winter Games. The IOC will likely make a decision on the 2030 host sometime next year.

Mayor Akimoto said the majority of venues for 2030 already exist but acknowledged they need to be significantly upgraded. The cost to make those upgrades has not been determined.

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