More than 80 percent of the Tokyo Olympic venues will have “zero audience” due to a rebound of the CCP virus pandemic in Japan.
Muto Toshiro, secretary-general of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee, suggested that the estimated ticket revenue was initially 90 billion yen ($817 million), and it would now plummet to several billion yen. “There is no doubt that the organizing committee will barely make ends meet,” Toshiro said.
The Japanese government announced on July 8 that Tokyo would enter its fourth state of emergency on July 12.
The Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee, the Japanese government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) decided that the Greater Tokyo Area (Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, and Saitama) will not open to audience members.
The committees decided to sort out the arrangements for the Paralympic Games venue after the Olympic Games.
The fourth Tokyo state of emergency starts on July 12 and ends on August 22, overlapping the Tokyo Olympics (July 23 to August 8). The Greater Tokyo Area hosts about 80 percent of the Olympic venues and will have “zero audience” due to the state of emergency. Venues in Fukushima and Hokkaido prefectures would also proceed with no audience members.
However, the Olympic venues in Miyagi and Shizuoka prefectures will accept audience members but restrict the number to 50 percent capacity and a maximum of 10,000.
After the announcement of the emergency measures, Seiko Hashimoto, the chairman of the organizing committee and Japan’s Minister of State, expressed sincere apologies at a press conference and explained that they were necessary to prevent the spread of the CCP virus.
On July 13, Tokyo had 830 confirmed cases of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, also known as the novel coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19; it was 328 cases higher than the day before.
According to the Tokyo Olympics’ official website, between July 1 and July 13, none of the athletes tested positive for the CCP virus. Among the 18 positive cases, two were employees, two were contractors, one was media personnel, and three were other staff.
The Tokyo Olympic organizing committee had recruited and trained 70,000 volunteers to help with its events. Muto suggested that the organizing committee is currently making adjustments to their roles in the hope that everyone can participate as planned.
Australian male tennis star, Nick Kyrgios, withdrew from the Tokyo Olympics in response to the zero audience policy. “I just wanted to let you know that I’ve decided to withdraw from the Olympics. … The thought of playing in front of empty stadiums just doesn’t sit right with me,” Kyrgios tweeted on July 9.