2021’s Empty Olympics After Japan Declares State of Emergency

Breya Bergom | | OlympicsOlympics
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The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics have been postponed a year due to COVID and are now prohibiting spectators as Japan’s COVID cases rise, forcing them into a state of emergency. | PC: Vienna Reyes

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.

Summer Olympics
With no spectators, the 2021 Summer Olympic Games will be the first of its kind ever to do so. PC: Zoe Reeve

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.

The last Summer Olympic game, which brought in $1.2 billion in ticket sales alone, was hosted in Rio De Janeiro. PC: Aline Cardoso

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.

full stadium
Although there won’t be spectators for the 2021 Games, NBC will continue to show more than 7,000 hours worth of content. PC: Pixabay

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