The Tokyo Olympics will need a public bailout of about $800 million if the games are held behind closed doors because organizers are delaying a decision on local spectators until the last possible moment.
Recent budgets Show that Tokyo 2020 organizers are still assuming stadiums are full. Having already spent billions of yen collected from ticket sales, a new relief from taxpayers will be the only way to fund refunds, according to a Financial Times analysis of commission accounts regulation.
With the Japanese government set to go ahead and hold the Games from July 23, the decision to allow domestic fans into the stadiums has become one of the biggest controversies around the Olympics.
Speaking at the G7 summit in Cornwall, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga indicated that Japan is determined to let viewers in if possible.
“Taking into account the level of Covid-19 infection, we will decide [on capacity] According to the numbers allowed in other sporting events.
If spectators are banned in whole or in part, the City of Tokyo will be at risk of refunding their tickets after agreeing to this Cost guaranteed From organizing late games.
Of the 668 billion yen ($6.1 billion) income set by the organizing committee for this year, 90 billion yen ($822 million) is supposed to come from ticket sales, which is about half of Tokyo’s 2020 commercial revenue. The rest actually comes from financing. general.
The balance sheet published by Tokyo 2020 last week showed a commitment of 118.3 billion yen for prepayments received. Most of that represents ticket revenue from the Japanese public, who handed over their money nearly two years ago.
Doctors and public health experts have advised Japan to hold the Olympic Games without spectators Avoid the spread of Covid-19But organizers and sponsors are desperate to retain at least some fans to get a return on their investment.
Shigeru Omi, the government’s chief medical advisor on the pandemic, urged it to avoid the “festive mood” at the Games. He warned that mass partying and drinking would lead to the kind of high-risk socialization that spread disease.
“If it’s going to take place, not having an audience is the only option,” Haruo Ozaki, president of the Tokyo Medical Association, said at a recent press conference.
Tokyo continues to report 300-400 new cases of Covid-19 every day and is set to remain in a state of emergency until June 20. Olympic organizers have postponed making a decision on spectators until the end of June, hoping the virus situation will be an emergency. Improvement.
Sponsors are keen To welcome spectators as they awarded tickets to some of the biggest gaming moments at competitions and other marketing events.
“A big problem for sponsors is whether they can allow the winners of the consumer campaigns they started before the Games last year to come in,” said a marketing executive who advises many Tokyo 2020 sponsors on how to handle the Games.
“Most of the sponsors have already benefited a lot from the ticket campaigns. If these tickets are canceled, they will face a lot of backlash.”