No Spectators At The Tokyo Olympics As City Enters State Of Emergency

Empty Red stadium chairs. Empty seats in a stadium. The new normal.

There has been another twist in the controversial Tokyo 2020 Olympics overnight, with the city plunged into its third state of emergency – meaning there will be no crowds at this month’s games.

After many local residents opposed the Games going ahead at all, it had been suggested that local spectators might be able to fill the stadiums to a limited capacity of around 50 per cent.

However, these plans were dismissed yesterday, with Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa confirming the Games will now go ahead crowd-free.

“We reached an agreement on no spectators at venues in Tokyo,” he said.

Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the country would be prioritising safety, as the Delta variant circulates through the city.

“Taking into consideration the impact of the Delta strain, and in order to prevent the resurgence of infections from spreading across the country, we need to step up virus prevention measures,” Suga said.

There is a possibility crowds might be able to attend events held outside of Tokyo, although this is yet to be determined.

With no crowds now a reality, TV broadcasters will now turn their attention to how they can create a sense of atmosphere for the millions of viewers tuning in from across the world.

With much live sport being played without crowds over the past 12 months, viewers have gotten used to the sound of artificial crowd noises being played over the commentary.

Broadcasters have also enhanced the sound of athletes to create a more compelling experience.

In an announcement made in June, the Olympic Broadcasting Services, which produces the live television, radio and digital coverage of the Games, said that it plans to produce 30 per cent more content than in Rio in 2016, with a focus on bringing content to more devices.

Australia’s official broadcaster Seven West Media will deliver its exclusive experience across 43 channels and two simulcasts, including 36 channels curated by Seven, six pre-created channels direct from Tokyo and one existing Olympic channel.

Image: iStock/CAG Photography

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