Postponing the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games last year cost Japan an estimated $4.2 billion (640 billion yen) but it stood to lose a great deal more had it cancelled the games altogether.
In the fifth version of the Olympic budget which was announced in December last year, the Tokyo Organising Committee estimated it would spend $203 billion in the preparation of the games set to begin on Friday.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympic games has been met with protests and controversy as Japan struggles to keep a lid on the newest COVID-19 outbreak.
Could the 2020 Tokyo Olympics still be cancelled?
Technically yes. The Olympic committee can still call off the event even though it is set to begin on Friday - though it is unlikely.
The Tokyo Olympics CEO Toshiro Muto did not rule out a last minute cancellation when speaking to reporters overnight.
"We cannot predict what the epidemic will look like in the future. So as for what to do should there be any surge of positive cases, we'll discuss accordingly if that happens," Muto said during the press conference held in Tokyo on Tuesday.
"During the last five-party talk, it was clearly stated we'll continue to monitor the coronavirus situation, and a five-party talk will be held if necessary."
Why do the Olympics cost so much?
The majority of the expenses come from venue-related costs, such as the stadiums, pools etc. to house all the different events.
Japan built 19 new venues for the games, 10 of which are temporary, and renovated 18 others.
Plus, the opening and closing ceremonies also take a fair whack from the hip pocket, with the committee estimating them to cost around $204 million.
Considering Japan will not be making any money from ticket sales due to social distancing measures in place and a lack of international tourism due to border closures, the country’s spending far outweighs any revenue it stands to make.
10 most expensive Olympics in history
In general, the Olympics has never been a profitable endeavour for any country but some have lost far more than others.
Here is a list of the most expensive games in history.
Sochi Winter Olympics, 2014 – $55 Billion
Beijing Summer Olympics, 2008 – $40 Billion
London Summer Olympics, 2012 – $14.6 Billion
Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics, 2016 – $13.2 Billion
Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, 2018 – $12.9 Billion
Barcelona Summer Olympics, 1992 – $9.4 Billion
Vancouver Winter Olympics, 2010 – $7 Billion
Moscow Summer Olympics, 1980 – $6.3 Billion
Montreal Summer Olympics, 1976 – $6.1 Billion
Sydney Summer Olympics, 2000 – $4.2 Billion