Christophe Dubi, the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Olympic Games executive director, is hopeful that venues hosting events during the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing will be able to operate at a minimum of 30% capacity.
The Olympics get underway this Friday and will run until February 20. Last month, the organising committee for the Games announced that tickets for the Games would be distributed as part of an “adapted programme” that will invite groups of spectators to attend events.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had previously announced that tickets for the Games would be placed on general sale exclusively to spectators residing in China’s mainland who meet the requirements of COVID-19 countermeasures.
This will no longer be the case, with Beijing 2022 confirming last month that tickets would not be sold. Instead, a programme will be launched whereby invited spectators will make up the attendance.
Ahead of the start of the Games this week, Dubi has provided an update on fan attendance.
“In terms of capacity we are not there yet, because it has to be fine-tuned at a venue-by-venue basis, but I’d say if we have one person out of three (available spots) or out of two, that would already be a good result,” he said, according to the Reuters news agency.
“It could also depend on whether it is outdoors or indoors. But the great thing is that we are going to have spectators.”
Dubi added: “This is not only for Chinese spectators but for Chinese residents, and we were very insistent on that. So they are also reaching out to the expat community and making sure, through the embassies and other ways and means, to identify those who live in Beijing and could attend the Games.”
The 2020 summer Olympic and Paralympic Games went ahead in Tokyo without any fans in attendance.