According to Seiko Hashimoto, the president of the Japan Olympic Organizing Committee, Japan is prepared for a no spectator Olympics. 6,00,000 fans were projected to attend the games. As there is strong opposition for letting the fans attend the games while a wave of infection casts doubt on the decision, the committee is considering zero spectator Olympics events.
Restricting local fans from attending the games and events eliminates a major source of revenue which results in a significant financial blow. The lower number of spectators will also negatively affect the sponsorship. But on the other hand, these restrictions will be helpful for the medical system. Seiko Hashimoto stated that the committee will allow as many people to watch the games as the situation allows.
Hiroshi Okudera, who is a professor at the University of Toyama, stated that “They are considering holding the Olympics without spectators even though various other sports events are welcoming them; this will probably help from the standpoint of reducing the burden on the medical staff.” He was responsible for medical care at the Nagano Winter Olympics in 1998.
Even though in the city of Tokyo, the restaurants, schools and many workplaces are operating normally with restricted hours, the decision to let the fans attend the games depends on the medical abilities and services. Out of 4.45 million tickets that were purchased by the residents of Japan, 810,000 were returned in a refund program.
If there is a restriction and only 50% audience can attend the games, the organization faces a loss of 1.4 trillion yen. If there are no spectators allowed, according to Miyamoto, it will result in a 4.5 trillion yen loss.
Moreover, the recent comments from IOC also indicate that the Olympics are scheduled to open on 23rd July at any cost. A few days back, IOC also showed the readiness to kick off the Olympics amid an emergency. So the state of emergency is no more a concern for the authorities to host the games. We will have to wait and watch for how things unfold in the upcoming few days.