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Are the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Trouble? Renowned Holy Cross Sports Economist Shares Insight

The Associated Press
May 29th, 2019 by 

Victor Matheson, professor of economics, is seen here teaching a class at Holy Cross. Photo by Tom Rettig
Victor Matheson, professor of economics, is seen here teaching a class at Holy Cross. Photo by Tom Rettig

Sports federations around the world are in fear that the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo will end up mirroring the previous Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where bankrupt organizers began slashing costs a few months before the opening ceremony, at the expense of the event itself.

But while Tokyo organizers have been trying to cut spending by using more temporary and existing venues rather than building new ones, the executive director of the Olympic Games reassured sports federations that the experience will still be “top-notch.” He did so, in part, by pointing out to Tokyo’s $5.6 billion operating budget, the largest of any recent Olympics, which is also bolstered by a record $3 billion in local sponsorships.

The Associated Press recently sought the insight of Victor Matheson, professor of economics at Holy Cross and a renowned sports economist, on this issue. Matheson, who has authored several studies on the economic impact of the Olympic Games, holds the general belief that hosting the prestigious sports event has become a financial sinkhole.

And in the particular case of Tokyo 2020, “No matter what sponsorship revenues come in at, there is no way they can cover more than a fraction of the billions in infrastructure Tokyo is building,” Matheson said.

To read the full article, go to APNews.com.

The story was republished in top tier news outlets in the U.S., from The New York Times to The Washington Post and USA Today, as well as others across the globe.

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