But with the coronavirus spreading rapidly, and Japan having already closed schools and canceled public events, the International Olympic Committee is reportedly assessing its options— including a games with few, if any, spectators.
That prospect is becoming less unthinkable by the day. Some U.S. college basketball, European soccer, and Japanese baseball teams are competing in empty venues. The annual Formula One race in Bahrain on March 22 will be run without any fans. Even the Olympic torch- lighting ceremony, which usually takes place in Greece amid much fanfare, is scheduled to occur this week without spectators.
For organizers, an Olympics behind closed doors may be the best of a bunch of bad options. It would satisfy the athletes and, equally important, the media companies that pay the IOC billions to broadcast the events—but only if they happen.
What’s more, in-person fans are a diminishing source of revenue. When Atlanta hosted the 1996 Summer Games, tickets accounted for 25% of the budget. In Tokyo, they are half that. In a sign of things to come, Japan’s bid for the 2022 World Cup included technology to broadcast the matches worldwide using holograms, meaning a packed stadium in Brazil could see the games unfold on the field much like those seeing the real event in Osaka.
Are TV viewers more valuable?
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
The RV business is booming and shows no sign of slowing down. To find out why, our correspondent dragged his reluctant family to the RV capital of the world— the cutest city in north central Indiana!—and hit the road
The Fortnite Fallout
Apple and Epic meet in court, making the collapse of a once-close relationship complete
Yes, Streaming Ads Are on Repeat
Commercials on services like Hulu, Pluto, and Discovery+ have become an $11 billion business
Facebook Won't Apologize for Instagram Youth
It’s making a kid-focused version of its photo-sharing app, regardless of what critics say
Laggard Doesn't (Always) Mean Loser
At least a few companies still in the vaccine race will likely succeed as Covid lingers
Why Don't More Women Run Money?
The gender imbalance in portfolio management persists even as some women take top fund jobs
COME AT ME
When a gossip rag went after Jeff Bezos, he retaliated with the brutal, brilliant efficiency he used to build his business empire. From the new book Amazon Unbound , an untold story of money, sex, and power
More Merchants Are Courting Cash
Surcharges for credit card purchases become common as businesses try to avoid swipe fees
Covid Means There's Even Less Joy in Mudville
Capacity constraints and distancing rules bring big headaches for season ticket holders
Justin Zhu was fired for taking LSD before an important meeting. The whole situation was even weirder
AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH HARUHIKO KAWAGUCHI
I want to capture love as it really is and the bathtub is an ideal vehicle to encapsulate the vivid reality in my images.
APPLE MUSIC LAUNCHES MORE THAN 100 CITY-FOCUSED MUSIC CHARTS
Apple Music is coming to a city near you — the streaming service has launched daily music charts focused on particular cities around the world, including New York City, Tokyo and Lagos.
BIGGEST SPACE STATION CROWD IN DECADE AFTER SPACEX ARRIVAL
The International Space Station’s population swelled to 11 on Saturday with the jubilant arrival of SpaceX’s third crew capsule in less than a year.
I thought I knew my father well: his devotion to family, his solid faith. A slip of paper in a forgotten Bible revealed more
Let the Games Begin
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics works toward a mid-pandemic strategy.
Chef Sandro Gamba brings a wealth of culinary experience to The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo.
THE PEOPLE'S CHAMP
TOPPS’ ONLINE SET LOOKS AT LEGEND’S LIFE, CAREER AND LEGACY
Happy Hacking Pro Hybrid Type-S Keyboard
$337 for this beauty, but why?
YAKUZA: LIKE A DRAGON doubles down on the series’ RPG elements with a brave new turn-based battle system.
NEW YEAR N3W YOU
Each year in Dec and Jan, Athleisure Mag interviews celebrities to discuss their N3W YOU: THE GOOD, THE ADD and THE BUZZ.