TOKYO: Tokyo organizers unveiled details of their bid to host the 2016 Olympics on Friday, emphasizing a compact, sustainable and financially robust games.
Tokyo, Chicago, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro submitted their official bid books to the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland, before the Thursday midnight deadline, setting the stage for the final eight months of their global campaign.
While organizers of both the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and 2012 London Olympics are feeling the pinch of the global recession, Tokyo organizers say they can stage an Olympics that will not exceed proposed budgets.
“In these troubled economic times, the Olympic movement can be 100 percent assured that the Tokyo 2016 Games will be exactly as described in our bid files,” Tokyo 2016 chairman Ichiro Kono said Friday. “Most of our venues are in place, most of the games infrastructure is in place and the $4.4 billion maximum budget to complete these tasks is in the bank.”
Both Vancouver and London have been forced to dip into contingency funds to cover shortfalls caused by the slowing economy and lack of private financing. London’s overall budget has grown to 9.3 billion pounds ($13.4 billion).
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The IOC will select the host city by secret ballot on Oct. 2 in Copenhagen.
Tokyo organizers say their bid offers the most compact games with 95 percent of venues located less than 8 kilometers from the main stadium and 70 percent of venues within 10 minutes of the Olympic Village.
Tokyo will also build Olympic-related facilities with electricity from “green energy” sources including solar and wind power.
One of the main features of Tokyo’s bid is a new 100,000-seat Olympic Stadium to be built on Tokyo’s waterfront using solar panels set up on the roof to produce renewable energy.
The stadium’s capacity will be reduced to 80,000 after the games and will be used for a variety of events including athletics and football.
Tokyo, which hosted the 1964 Olympics, says 23 of its proposed 34 venues already exist and that land has been secured for the 11 new facilities.
“Legacy is very important to the IOC,” said Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara. “We hosted the Olympics in 1964 and plan to use many of those facilities which are still standing and in good condition.”