Olympics To Allow Spectators
Good news for those wanting to attend the Olympics: it was announced on Monday that a limited number of local fans will be allowed to attend the games. Organizers set a limit of 50% capacity — up to a maximum of 10,000 fans — for each Olympic venue, and officials said that if coronavirus cases rise again, the rules could be changed and fans could still be barred altogether. Officials also said local fans will be under strict rules. They will not be allowed to cheer, they must wear masks and are being told to go straight home afterward.
“We would like people to go directly home from the venue without stopping by anywhere,” organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said.
Seiko Hashimoto, the president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee, called the decision “the last piece for the Olympics” to proceed on July 23. The door was left open for a no-fans Olympics if the conditions worsen around the pandemic. “We need to be very flexible. If there is any abrupt change in the situation, we will hold five-party meetings again to make other decisions,” Hashimoto said. “If there is an announcement of a state of emergency during the Games, all the options like no-spectator games will be examined.”
This comes after the announcement that 3.64 million tickets were already in the hands of Japanese residents, this figure being 900,000 more than the seats likely to be available. That will mean a lottery to see who can attend. These Olympics are not poised to be very profitable either. Tokyo organizers had expected about $800 million in revenue from ticket sales, but Muto said the actual figure would be no more than $400 million. Any shortfall will have to be picked up by some Japanese government entity. The University of Oxford has said these are the most expensive Olympics on record. The official cost is $15.4 billion, but several government audits suggest it might be twice that much. All but $6.7 billion is public money.