The leaders of the Paris Olympics are looking for savings to cope with the economic hardships caused by inflation – starting with the reduction of official transport.
The aim is to cut the number of vehicles by 30 to 40% compared to the Pandemic Tokyo Games, limiting crowds and sending accredited staff on the Paris Metro and other public transport, CEO Paris 2024, Etienne Thobois said on Tuesday.
Officials, sponsors and the media are used to riding in cars or specialized buses using Olympic-specific lanes in the host cities.
Paris 2024 is also trying to reduce the time the location and training facilities need to be rented to reduce costs.
Mr Thobois revealed the cost-cutting moves after inspectors from the International Olympic Committee spent three days assessing the plans in Paris.
“We can work on the margins and balance the budget,” he said.
Inflation is running at 6% in France, where the budget for the Olympics and Paralympics has grown to more than 8 billion euros (£6.9 billion).
The chairman of the Paris 2024 coordinating committee Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant refers to the need to “optimize” the budget as cost of living crisis deepened by Russia’s war in Ukraine.
The IOC member said: “Obviously I’m not naive, I know that the world has changed. There is no country that doesn’t get hurt if we think about inflation.
“We can work on the margins and balance the budget.”
This is because it is the first Olympics and Paralympics to have no coronavirus on the crowd since 2018 after the Tokyo Summer Olympics and Beijing Winter Olympics were held largely behind closed doors.
But the specter of war still looms over preparations for the French capital to host the Olympics for the third time.
Mr. Beckers-Vieujant said: “We need to make the most of the challenges that the economic and geopolitical environment presents to us. We can think of games differently while fulfilling the mission.”