Coronavirus: consequences on Paris Olympics 2024?

Published by Alexandre G. · Published on 27 April 2020 at 12h43 · Updated on 4 May 2020 at 16h43
As Tokyo Olympics 2020 are officially postponed to 2021, many questions are still without an answer as for the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic on Paris 2024. Work sites shut down, sponsoring contracts, new budget: somes voices are getting louder among the IOC to "rethink" the Olympics.

Will the war with coronavirus have the better of Paris 2024 Olympics? Apparently, the more than likely adjournment of Tokyo 2020 Olympics to summer 2021 doesn’t directly include the organization of Paris 2024 Olympics. Yet, the health and economic crisis we’re experiencing could mark the preparation and the economic projections of Paris 2024 organizing committee for life. With a time-lapse impact.

Of course, with as many mishaps, it's the entire organization that is about to be impacted, including the olympic calendar, going like a clock since 1896. Moreover, former 110m hurdle olympic champion and member of the International Olympic Committee Guy Drut, he told in L'Equipe this Sunday April 26, 2020 that he thinks it's vital the expected event doesn't take place "on the fringes of society", he thinks it would become "obsolete and disconnected from the reality". To "rerthink the model", the former athlete demands to limit extra sports, as well as a necessary "budget assessment". As of today, the IOC seems to focus on the change of Tokyo 2020 rather than on Paris 2024's future.

And yet, amid the pandemic hitting most of the world and that could deeply slow down the economy, it’s hard not to think of the consequences on the future Paris 2024 Olympics. So far, “no impact on the organization date” Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet guarantees as interviewed by Ouest France, given the Olympics will take place in 4 years. But Covid 19 and the economic crisis are already causing work delays. The Olympic Village – said to be delivered in 2023 – should yet be done in time.

Yet, other works mat not or could not bear a several-month delay. This is the case for the construction of the Media Village planned in Le Bourget and Dugny and said to start to be built in the third quarter of 2021. The construction would have to be done in time to welcome the 20,000 journalists accredited for the international event. Yet, amid the pandemic crisis, nothing is guaranteed.

So far, everything has been stopped by the Société du Grand Paris that quickly contacted all players involved to pause the different work sites, while some were just started. But the question is most of all about the pre-established budgets and those already confirmed by building industry companies that are worrying for each Olympic work. So far, no delay is announced but providing the length of the crisis, the situation could change in an unexpected manner at the end of this period. And why not cause a delay of the future 2024 Olympics?

Furthermore, moving on to sponsors, uncertainty is felt. How could a certain continuity be planned in investments promised by partnering companies? When we know that most of them planned hundreds of millions of euros to accompany the preparation and the run of the Olympics, we can only wonder about the future of such investments, in a context of economic recession and deep crisis. While many companies are already affected in terms of liquid assets, without any visibility as of their future, it’s hard to perceive they will still think this money should be given to sponsoring. Which would definitely lead to a major shortfall for the Paris 2024 Olympics organizing committee.

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