The 2020 Summer Olympics, which have already been delayed for a year, recently have been presented with another setback: no spectators. Although there was already a cap of 50% capacity on domestic crowds (up to 10,000 people), Japan declared a state of emergency on July 5. The state of emergency is planned to withhold until August 22. The games are scheduled from July 23 to August 8, which completely overlaps.
With COVID-19 destroying many simple commodities we take for granted, sports viewership is not excluded. According to CNBC, the previous Summer Olympics, which were hosted in Rio, accumulated an estimated $1.2 billion in revenue from ticket sales. The once estimated $815 million in revenue for the 2021 Olympics is impossible to achieve with no spectators.
Japan is currently the 34th country with the highest total COVID cases. According to Worldometer, Japan currently has 19,190 active COVID cases. While that doesn’t sound like much compared to their population of 126 million people, holding spectators in an arena would only make the virus spread more rapidly.
NBC is looking into possible engagement strategies for viewers at home. Spectators often make the games more enjoyable to watch, claims CNBC.