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IOC eyes Olympic villages for cost reductions

TOKYO (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee is looking at various areas to cut costs for hosting the Games including the “level of service” in Olympic villages, IOC Vice President John Coates told Tokyo 2020 organizers on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: John Coates listens to a question during a media conference in Sydney, Australia, August 24, 2017. REUTERS/David Gray

Coates, in opening remarks before a regular project review meeting, said the IOC had contacted 28 major national Olympic committees (NOCs) for their feedback by the end of this month.

“We are putting a number of questions to those national Olympic committees as to how we think we can find savings by reducing, to an acceptable level, the level of service in the Olympic village,” he said.

Tokyo organizers have been working to slash costs after a study last year warned expenses could balloon to four times the initial estimate made during the bid process.

The IOC is keen for Tokyo to cut costs further and set a good example to attract future candidate cities, rather than scare them off with stories of out-of-control spending.

Coates said the IOC would share the responses of the national Olympic committees with its athletes commission.

“NOCs might receive some financial compensation to give up some beds, they might receive some compensation in return for more transferable accreditations for their support staff, those things,” Coates said of possible ideas, without elaborating.

“We have to be satisfied that there’s no impact on the services for the athletes,” he added.

Recommendations would be presented at the IOC’s executive board meeting in December, he said.

The IOC last month awarded Paris the 2024 Summer Olympics and Los Angeles the 2028 Games, the first time it has awarded two Olympics at the same time.

That decision came following the withdrawal of four of the six cities bidding for the 2024 Olympics, amid concerns about the size, cost and complexity of organizing the world’s biggest multi-sports event.

Editing by Greg Stutchbury