No spectators at Tokyo Olympics

First the Olympics were delayed, then they restricted it to just local spectators, and now they have done away with spectators all together:

It’s going to be one of the strangest Olympics, but this is probably for the best from a safety standpoint. With no spectators there will be less need for facility services, volunteers, traffic services, etc. and less chances for cross infection from spectators and athletes.

I agree that it’s going to make for a weird event. And it’s gotta be weird for the competitors also.

Is there a rough estimate of how much this will cost the Olympics and/or Tokyo?

I’m sure it will be costly. Quite often the event revenue from ticket sales has long since been spent by the time the event happens, so money for ticket refunds will need to come from somewhere else. Aside from tickets, Tokyo would have expected the revenue opportunities from spectators to defray some of the cost of hosting the event. Revenue from things like concessions, souvenirs, hotel taxes, etc. isn’t going to be realized if there are no spectators.

They’d already decided not to have foreign tourists, so this is on top of that and of course the earlier decision to delay the whole thing by a year. Hosting the Olympics was never going to be profitable but this makes it so much more of a money loser. So billions in losses?

Japanese TV reported that loss from ticket sales is expected at US$785 million.

There’s also some loss to be expected from the real estate. There was a residential development that was partly funded by the government to be leased towards the Olympic village (thus defraying some costs) and several people pre-ordered those apartments/condos. Those folks have been left holding the bag for nearly a year now and several have sued for damages.

The Athletes have to put on their own medals. No hand shakes or hugs and get the hell out of the country within two days of your competition.

Sounds like a really fun time.

What’s the point of testing and quarantine (before competition) if the officials still treat the athletes like rabid dogs? They’ve already proven they’re not sick and there’s no crowd to infect them.

Closing ceremonies will look like a ghost town.

This whole thing is going to be so depressing; they should have just cancelled it. The opening ceremonies are fun partly for the massive crowd, which in recent games have been pressed into participating in some mass event, like one of those things where each spectator holds up a card to make a giant mosaic.

I was wondering, too, is the Opening Ceremony going on as if there had been no pandemic?

I wish Japan would have just postponed by a year. Holding it with no spectators this way makes an utter mockery of it, more sad than meaningful.

I wonder if you could have remote telepresence robots standing in for spectators. Weird to be sure but potentially quite fun too and better than an empty arena.

Cardboard cutouts were used in the US last year.

That’s better than empty stadiums.

Yep. Oh well, fuck it. With all the variants, we’re all gonna be dead by next year anyway. We lifted restrictions too early and too widely. I guess I’m glad I live under a rock in BFE. I’ll be the last one to die.

I just saw an ad for the opening ceremonies, and it showed (what appeared to be) a stadium packed clear full of people, both in the stands and on the field. Is that cardboard cutouts, digital editing, what?

That’s what they did.

Probably footage of an earlier event.

Although I understand athletes work hard and want their chance, the decision to hold the Games is questionable. No doubt quarantines have highlighted the importance of sport. But this can be rescheduled.

That Korean soccer team would probably be happy to loan Tokyo some sex dolls.

The head of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee has not ruled out a last-minute cancellation of the games if COVID cases surge:

My assessment is that his statement is just smoke and mirrors to appease the Japanese public who are unhappy about the games being held. Most of the athletes have already arrived, and to cancel at this point would leave Japan with massive egg on its face, lawsuits from multiple sponsors, and IMO cripple the country’s chances of winning a future Olympics bid.

It has also been claimed that with 35C (95F) Tokyo summer temperatures, before PPE, these may be among the hottest Games on record.