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Land, money in place for Tokyo 2016 Olympic bid

London — Tokyo has already secured $4 billion to pay for construction of venues for the 2016 Olympics despite the global economic downturn, a leader of the Japanese bid said Thursday.
Hidetoshi Maki, deputy director of the Tokyo 2016 bid team, said the money has been set aside by the government for construction of sports facilities, roads and other infrastructure costs.
“The money has been secured. It is in the bank,” Maki said.
In addition, he said, the government has fully guaranteed the games’ proposed operating budget of $3.1 billion, which would be raised through television rights, ticket sales and merchandising.
“The economy is in good shape,” Maki said. “The total budget is financially stable. We don’t think our bid is highly damaged by the economic crisis.”
Tokyo is competing against Chicago, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro. The four cities must submit their detailed bid files to the International Olympic Committee by Thursday. The IOC will vote on the host city at its session in Copenhagen, Denmark, Oct. 2.
Tokyo, which hosted the 1964 Olympics, said 23 of its proposed 34 venues already exist and that land has been secured for the 11 new facilities.
Maki said the games in Tokyo could attract a potential prime television audience in Asia of 3 billion people.
He downplayed President Barack Obama’s potential impact on Chicago’s bid. Obama is from Chicago and has been a strong supporter of the city’s Olympic bid. Chicago bid officials hope he will travel to Copenhagen for the vote.
Mati said Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, who competed in shooting at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, is expected to go to Copenhagen for the decision.

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