The organizers of the Tokyo Olympics on Monday announced new dates for the Games to take place in summer 2021 — almost exactly one year after this year’s event was scheduled to take place until the coronavirus pandemic uprooted plans.
The opening ceremony will now take place on July 23, 2021 while the global sporting event will wrap up on August 8. The Paralympics were rescheduled to Aug. 24-Sept. 5, 2021.
“The schedule for the games is key to preparing for the games,” Tokyo organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori said in a statement. “This will only accelerate our progress.”
Mori and organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto have said the cost of rescheduling the Olympics will be “massive” — with local reports estimating the cost could reach into the billions of dollars — with most of the expenses borne by Japanese taxpayers, according to the Associated Press.
The event had already been set to cost $28 billion, with 11,000 athletes from more than 200 countries due to compete in dozens of sports.
The postponement will also alter plans by networks and brands with advertising and marketing commitments linked to the games. By last December, host network NBC had already surpassed $1 billion in advertising sales for the Games and was well on the way to topping the $1.2 billion in ad sales from 2016’s Olympics in Rio.