Paris 2024 takes ‘shift in approach’ in bid to cut costs

The organisers of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games have taken further steps to rework their delivery strategy as part of ongoing efforts to cut costs in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last month, Paris 2024 president Tony Estanguet (pictured) revealed that the local organising committee was looking to adapt the Games master plan in response to the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis, identifying transport, accommodation and human resources as areas that could be cut back to save “millions of euros”.

This week, Paris 2024 presented a progress report during a virtual meeting of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Paris 2024 coordination commission and local delivery partners, including representatives from the city of Paris and the French Olympic and Paralympic committees.

One cost-saving measure already confirmed is a plan to reduce the number of beds in the Athletes’ Village, located in the Seine-Saint-Denis area of Paris, from just over 17,000 to around 14,000.

An IOC statement released after the meeting described preparations so far as ‘innovative and responsible’, adding that organisers had taken a ‘shift in approach’ and would be actively seeking ‘creative and sustainable optimisations’ of the Games delivery strategy.

"From the start, our common purpose has been to create the Games of a new era - Games that are responsible, sustainable, socially conscious, and open for everyone to take part,” Estanguet said in a statement.

"The current context and the unprecedented crisis we are experiencing means we need to go even further in the directions we choose together.” 

Authorities in Paris have spoken in recent weeks of the extent to which the Covid-19 crisis has presented new financial challenges ahead of the Games, the budget for which stands at an estimated €6.8 billion (US$7.5 billion).

In April, Guy Drut, an IOC member and former French sports minister, said that plans for the event are “obsolete and outdated” as a result of the pandemic, while Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo has acknowledged that significant savings would have to be made.

During this week’s coordination commission meeting, Paris 2024 provided updates on the status of Games-related construction projects, including the Aquatic Centre and the multi-use Arena La Chapelle, contracts for both of which have been awarded to Paris-based construction firm Bouygues in recent weeks.

Organisers also updated on the status of Paralympic preparations, the progress of a number of other venues and the unveiling of Paris’ new emblem, as well as other initiatives regarding Games legacy and sustainability.

The Paris Olympic Games are due to take place from 26th July to 11th August 2024, with the Paralympic Games following between 28th August and 8th September 2024.




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