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SBD/September 9, 2013/Olympics
Tokyo Lands '20 Games In Part Because It Was The Safest Bet Among The Finalists
Published September 9, 2013
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BID STRESSED DEPENDABILITY: Tokyo’s bid’s presenters emphasized the city’s dependability repeatedly before IOC members. They underscored the business opportunity Tokyo offered, noting that it would deliver the biggest live TV audience, biggest ticket market and $1B in local sponsorship. They also highlighted the $4.5B they have already set aside to cover the costs of 10 venues and other developments necessary to host the Games. They tackled the issue of recent nuclear leaks from Japan’s Fukushima power plant, which suffered several meltdowns after the '11 earthquake. Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assured the IOC that radiation levels in water and food were a hundredth the level that the World Health Organization specified as safe. Abe told the IOC, “I shall take responsibility to implement programs to render this situation completely problem free.” That seemed to be enough for IOC members. In the end, they opted to roll the dice on the issue of radiation rather than take the Olympics to Istanbul, which had violently put down protests over the summer and recently had 31 athletes test positive for performance-enhancing drugs, and Madrid, which remains mired in a recession and had a recent doping scandal of its own. From a business perspective, Tokyo offered the biggest opportunity to drive local revenue. Bid organizers expect to deliver $931M in local sponsorship, $776M in ticket sales and $140M in licensing sales. The organizing committee will retain those revenues.
Tripp Mickle is on the ground in Buenos Aires reporting and tweeting from the IOC meetings. Look for continued posts from him on our On The Ground blog.