The Tokyo Olympics is projected to lose billions of dollars in revenue.
Amid fears over COVID-19, in-person spectators are disallowed and advertisers are withdrawing — especially because as much as 83% of the Japanese population believes that the Games should not occur in their nation.
Due to the lack of support for the Games, companies are refraining from running advertisements. As a Toyota spokesperson told Global News, the car manufacturer will not be “airing any commercials” or “attending the opening ceremony.”
Other losses could hit the Japanese economy and the Games’ Organizing Committee through several additional factors.
This $20 billion cost could be offset with the revenue from the Games, but revenue will be lower than projected because the Tokyo games will no longer have fans in attendance.
Empty stadiums will cost the Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (OCOG) at least $800 million in ticketing losses.
However, ticketing is only a fraction of the problem from the empty stadiums in Tokyo. According to local organizers, visitors in Japan for the Games would have spent roughly $2 billion on meals, transportation, hotels and merchandise.
The Wall Street Journal adds:
Stadiums and arenas that cost over $7 billion to build or renovate for the Games will be mostly empty after spectators were banned.
Japan wanted the Tokyo Olympics to show the country is still a global force despite its declining population and a maturing economy eclipsed by China. The Games would also show how Japan rebounded from a devastating tsunami in 2011. Instead, the Olympics has compounded a malaise over the pandemic that has put its leader under pressure to keep his job.
Organizers are pressing ahead with an Olympics-for-TV that few Japanese will witness or see any financial benefit from.
In the United States, ratings for the Olympics are expected to crash. One poll found that only 29% of Republicans are interested in watching the games, compared to 39% of Democrats. Only 32% of Americans believe that Olympic athletes should be allowed to engage in political protests, such as kneeling or wearing messages on their uniforms — a possible explanation for the lack of interest.
The Tokyo Olympics may be the least-watched in the twenty-first century. The New York Post reports that viewership could drop to a scant 17 million — a disastrous showing in comparison to the 2012 London Olympics, which averaged 30 million viewers, and the poorly-rated 2016 Rio de Janeiro games that attracted 27 million.
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