The organizers of the olympic Games in Paris in 2024 are going to have to find paths of economies to cope with the budgetary consequences of the crisis of the COVID-19.
July 1, 2020 16h44
JO: Paris 2024 before the budgetary impact of the COVID-19
PARIS — The organizers of the olympic Games in Paris in 2024 are going to have to find paths of economies to cope with the budgetary consequences of the crisis of the COVID-19, so that the model suddenly appears fragile with the deferral of the olympic games in Tokyo.
The impact of the health crisis on the budget of organization of the olympics, which should rise to 3.8 billion euros, almost entirely funded by private revenue (sponsors, ticket service, contribution of the international olympic Committee (ioc), was on the agenda of an executive board of Paris 2024, originally scheduled Thursday, but finally postponed in extremis at a later date, due to changes in municipal teams.
The board of directors of Paris 2024, expected in a week, will also be shifted.
According to several actors of the olympics, a visit from the president of the international olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, in Paris next week, is still in the program. The sign of the big moves?
The agenda of the executive board provided that in any case the boss of the organising committee of the olympic games (Ocog), Tony Estanguet, to make the point on several hot topics, including those of sponsors and delays in the construction of the subway lines 16 and 17 of the future Grand Paris Express.
After the confirmation, the 22 June, by the French secretary of State for Transport Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, that these lines would not be delivered on time at le Bourget, near Paris, the organizers will have to find alternative solutions to serve the olympic area, where you will have to compete for shooting and volleyball, but who should host the centre, and the “village” of the media.
“10 % savings”
The budgetary issue, which remains sensitive until 2024, does not stop at the organization. 3.8 billion euros of the Ocog, in addition to $ 3 billion of investments on the major construction projects of the Games (olympic village, media village), financed half by the public actors. At the end of April, the total bill of the operation to build the olympic aquatic centre in Saint-Denis, the equipment, the flagship of the olympics, has been re-evaluated 174,7 million euros of public funds, against the 113 initially.
In early may, Tony Estanguet had set a course : find paths of economies in “behind the scenes OJ” (catering, security, transport), without renouncing to the show and to the”legacy” left to the territories. Without denying the economic crisis, the triple olympic champion of canoe ensured that the target of the sponsors remained the same, or 1 to 1.2 billion euros of revenue.
“They were planning to exceed their predictions, which were conservative. Now, they want to be satisfied to achieve”, provides, under the cover of anonymity, a member of the board of directors of Paris 2024, which brings together the communities, the State and the sports movement. According to this actor, the report of unusual games in Tokyo weakens the strength of the model, in the eyes of potential sponsors.
“Their plan is to find a 10% savings” on the budget, or 300 to 400 million euros “for greater flexibility”, adds the source, an order of magnitude confirmed by another actor in the OJ. Questioned by AFP, the Ocog did not wish to comment on these figures, reaffirming that $ 3.8 billion in total.
At this budget level, and for two meetings of fifteen days (olympic and paralympic), in Saint-Denis (Stade de France), Paris (Trocadero, Concorde), Versailles (horse riding), Marseille (sailing), and to Tahiti (surf), the slopes of economies exist, according to all actors interviewed by the AFP.
“The level of service during the olympic games is delusional. It is possible to reduce a bit without sacrificing quality, in particular for the transport of athletes and officials”, describes an elected official in an affected community. The actors also expect areas of animations less elaborate and therefore less expensive, for example place de la Concorde, a new site that was not included in the initial project, which will compete for the sports so-called “urban” (rock-climbing, basketball 3×3, BMX freestyle, breakdance, skateboard).
The capacity of the olympic village, which must stand up in the north of Paris, is already risen from 18 000 to 15 000 beds.
Will it go further, and to sacrifice to the competition sites, or review the wing of the media village, as envisioned by some?
This would necessarily lead to discussions strained with the communities. “You can look if there are savings to be made, let’s leave aside the bling-bling that often characterises the olympic Games, and I’m not necessarily talking about Paris 2024. But it is out of the question that we sacrifice the legacy for the Seine-Saint-Denis,” warns the chair of the department, Stéphane Troussel (socialist Party).