TOKYO (Reuters) – Tokyo Olympics organizers expect to be able to use all the venues as originally planned at next year’s rearranged Games, several Japanese media outlets reported on Thursday.
Securing venues was a top priority for organizers after the Games were pushed back to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Kyodo and NHK, citing unnamed sources, said they were now confident they would be tied down for Olympics use again.
However, at his regular weekly news conference, Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya said the reports were “optimistic” and that nothing had been announced.
“We have seen a series of media reports concerning the status of securing venues for the Games in 2021,” said Takaya.
“Tokyo 2020 is aware of these reports but I need to be very clear … this is not something on which Tokyo Metropolitan Government or the Tokyo organising committee has made a formal announcement.
“The organising committee has not made such an announcement at this stage and during this process, it is very unfortunate to see such reports based on this optimistic view.”
Last month, Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto said 80% of all venues needed had been secured, with the Athlete’s Village and Tokyo Big Sight, the planned media centre, among those yet to be fully secured.
Thursday’s reports also said the competition schedule would remain largely unchanged and that all tickets holders would be eligible for refunds, and that organizers would seek approval of these decisions from the IOC’s General Assembly on July 17.
Asked to confirm those details, Takaya said nothing had been decided and Tokyo 2020 did not expect to seek approval from the IOC next week.
(Editing by Peter Rutherford)