Progress for Tokyo 2020 Venues

(ATR) Tokyo 2020 CEO says 80 percent are nearly secured for 2021 but two major ones are still being negotiated.

(ATR) Tokyo 2020 chief executive officer Toshiro Muto informs that 80 percent ofOlympic competition venues are nearly secured for 2021 and negotiations for the remainder are ongoing.

Procurement of the Olympic Village and the Tokyo International Convention Center, referred to as Tokyo Big Sight – which will house the International Broadcast Center and Main Press Center – is still in progress.

Tokyo 2020 leaders and the Tokyo Metropolitan government (TMG) are aiming to secure contracts for all 43 venues this month in order to determine event schedules for the postponed Olympics in July and August of 2021.

Muto and Tokyo 2020 spokesperson Masa Takaya addressed international media via a YouTube Live press conference and domestic journalists onsite at Triton Square Tower in Tokyo following a Tokyo 2020 Executive Board Meeting on Friday. Approximately 275 journalists joined the video conference call.

"Regarding competition venues we are negotiating to be able to use the facilities and venues next year as planned," Muto said, responding to a question from Around the Rings. "Eighty percent have been agreed upon and we are negotiating for the remaining. We would like to avoid from answering which ones have been secured and which ones are still yet to complete."

However, Muto did note that facilities almost secured include all city-owned competition venues, the government-owned Tokyo Olympic Stadium, the Saitama Stadium soccer venue and Baji Koen, venue for equestrian events.

Regarding ongoing negotiations involving the athletes' village, Muto said progress was being made while in the hands of the Tokyo Metropolitan government.

"The athletes' village is under adjustment, it is not that it is due to some delay," Muto said. "We believe that we are able to work with the adjustment as planned.

"TMG is working with the 11 specific construction companies in negotiations for the athletes' village. I’m sure they are working on it from various angles, but they have still yet to finalize it. "

Muto also addressed steps required to lock down use of the Big Sight on the Tokyo Bay Waterfront, which is expected to be home to the IBC and MPC.

"It is Tokyo-owned, however many reservations have already been made by other users for next year, therefore we are currently working together with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in securing the schedule," he said about the Tokyo Convention Center. "We are having a very thorough discussion to secure the schedule."

Asked if there are contingency plans should there be issues securing the additional 20 percent of venues, Muto responded: "We are setting the venues to be able to be borrowed as a requisite and figuring out what conditions we can provide to make sure we can secure the venues."

Muto also noted that discussions with Tokyo 2020 sponsors have begun in order to extend contracts that are due to expire in December. He said 65 percentof sponsors have yet to confirm for 2021 given the uncertainty surrounding staging of the Games. However, none have withdrawn despite the one-year postponement.

The Tokyo 2020 executive was asked if he could guarantee staging of the Games next summer in time to meet the end of December date when sponsor contracts will expire.

"I don’t think there is anyone that can promise that the Olympics and Paralympics will be held in 2021 for sure, 100 percent in any

circumstance, but the fact that we can show our commitment and dedication in making sure that we can somehow host the Olympics - I think that type of communication can be conveyed to the sponsors," Muto said.

Muto said there is still no definitive timeframe to determine all additional costs surrounding staging the rescheduled Games. The IOC has pledged to contribute $650 million to Tokyo 2020.

"The area is very diverse and there are various items we need to cover," Muto said. "We need to solve each of the challenges in order to get the cost estimate.

"Regarding revisiting the service standard or level - and we mentioned that we will make efforts in doing this - but there are other parties that we need to consult, for example IFs, so therefore it is very difficult for us to mention the timing.

"We would like to do as soon as possible, but we are not yet in a situation where we can clearly state the timing yet."

Written by Brian Pinelli with reporting from Hironori Hashimoto in Tokyo

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