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Organizers limit local spectators at Tokyo Olympics to 50% capacity

By
Zarrin Ahmed
Yui Matsuda performs during a Tokyo 2020 Olympics skateboarding test event at Ariake Urban Sports Park in Tokyo, Japan, on May 14. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI
Yui Matsuda performs during a Tokyo 2020 Olympics skateboarding test event at Ariake Urban Sports Park in Tokyo, Japan, on May 14. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

June 21 (UPI) -- Organizers in Tokyo and the International Olympic Committee on Monday announced that there will be a limit for local fans attending the upcoming Summer Olympics -- 50% capacity per venue up to 10,000 people.

The decision was made following a meeting involving organizers, the International Olympic Committee, Tokyo's government and the Japanese government.

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"There are 32 days to go until the Olympic Games," the groups said in a joint statement Monday.

"The five parties will continue to work together to ensure safe and secure games for all."

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Japan's top coronavirus adviser told organizers Friday that the best way to limit the virus would be to hold Olympic events behind closed doors, but organizers opted to adhere to existing government limits for sports events.

Organizers also said the schedule of the games isn't being changed, but noted that further limits on local spectators can still change between now and the start of the Games.

"In the event of any rapid change in infection status and in the capacity of the medical care system, a five-party meeting will be held promptly to consider further measures," the groups said.

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Officials described other rules to ensure "safe and secure environments" at the Summer Games. Masks will be required at all events and spectators will leave the venues in a staggered manner.

Organizers decided earlier this year that spectators at the Games will be limited to locals and foreign spectators will not be allowed, a decision influenced entirely by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials said about 4.8 million tickets have been sold already, and no more will be given out. Tickets for some events have already topped 50% of capacity.

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Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee President Seiko Hashimoto said a lottery will determine who will be allowed to watch in-person. Committee CEO Toshiro Muto said the number of tickets will likely be reduced to about 2.72 million and revenue will be half of the initially projected $820 million.

The Games will be staged in about 40 venues in Tokyo and surrounding areas. Large capacity venues include the National Stadium, which seats 68,000 fans, the International Stadium Yokohama (72,000) and Tokyo Stadium (48,000).

Japan lifted a state of emergency for Tokyo on June 17.

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The Summer Olympic Games are scheduled to begin on July 23 and run through August 8.

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Simone Biles stands on the floor after winning the gold medal in the floor exercise at the Olympic Arena of the Rio Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro on August 16, 2016. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

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