As we reported earlier this week, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach released a video statement providing an update on the status of the 2021 Olympic Games exactly six months out from the Opening Ceremonies.
“Everybody is really determined to make this Olympic Games, in six months from now, the light at the end of the tunnel in which, at this moment, we are all still in,” he said.
Although Bach did touch on the countermeasures the IOC is working to put in place in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, specifics were not laid out yet. A big pandemic-related constraint is a consideration of having a spectator-less Olympic Games, meaning there would be no fans physically present in Tokyo during competition.
Then today, he said, “We have been doing all kinds of simulations. Basically, I don’t think (the games without fans) is something that would happen or something that I would like to do, but it won’t be a simulation unless we think about it.” (Kyodo News)
The Japanese government is reportedly considering three options for a springtime decision — not imposing a limit on spectators, placing a ceiling of 50 percent of the venues’ capacity or holding events behind closed doors, according to the officials. (Kyodo News)
Aside from the unprecedented fact stadiums could potentially be silent with competitors having to imagine spectators cheering them on, the idea of not having spectators would deal a mega blow to the Japanese economy.
Katsuhiro Miyamoto, an honorary professor at Kansai University, produced a report estimating the economic loss which would incur if the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics were to be held without spectators.
His estimates, which were released late last week, said holding the Tokyo Games behind closed doors would cause national economic damage of up to ¥2.4 trillion (nearly $23 billion USD).
This is due to the potential loss of spectator spending related directly to the Games, as well as stimulus effects on household consumption expenditures and corporate marketing activities. He estimates the economic gains from promotional sporting and cultural events after the Games would also be greatly reduced. (Japan Times)