No spectators for Tokyo Olympics
4th State of Emergency leads to empty stadiums in Tokyo.
Organisers of the Tokyo Olympics have agreed not to have any spectators at the the Games after Japan declared its 4th State of Emergency due to the pandemic.
It marks a major blow not just to fans around the world, but to broadcasters which millions in rights for roaring crowds when records are broken. Advertisers have also paid big dollars to be associated with the event that captures the imagination of nations.
Now it could look decidedly soulless without cheering fans.
Representatives from the Games’ organising committee, the Japanese government, the Tokyo Metropolitan government and the International Olympic and Paralympic committees made the decision on Thursday evening.
IOC President Thomas Bach took part in the meeting online after flying into Tokyo and starting a 3-day isolation.
Last month, the five parties capped the number of domestic spectators at 50 percent of a venue’s capacity, or up to 10,000 people, with bans on cheering. But it was always subject to an evolving situation.
A new state of emergency for Tokyo starts on Monday and runs until August 22 (two days before the Paralympics are due).
Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide said, “We must avoid another outbreak starting in Tokyo. With that in mind, we decided to take preemptive measures, and declare a state of emergency for Tokyo once again.
“Holding a safe and secure Games amid the coronavirus pandemic is a good opportunity to show our global unity to overcome the current difficulties together.”
Japan’s health minister Tamura Norihisa encouraged people to watch the Games at home and to avoid watching the games at sports bars or restaurants that serve alcohol.
Health authorities reported 896 new infections on Thursday, marking the 19th straight day cases have gone up compared to the week before.
It isn’t clear if broadcasters around the world will be due any kind of discount on broadcast rights.