COVID-19

What a delay means for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Mitchell Hartman Mar 24, 2020
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Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19

What a delay means for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Mitchell Hartman Mar 24, 2020
Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
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We now know about the status of the Summer Olympics: Tuesday morning, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach agreed to postpone the Olympics by about one year.

This, just one day after IOC board member Dick Pound spoke to USA Today about the Tokyo games and suggested a postponement. “The games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know,” he said.

Sporting events the world over have already been cancelled as the novel coronavirus has spread. One reason the Olympic organizers held off for so long, says Smith College economist Andrew Zimbalist, is all of the money on the line.

“The International Olympic Committee is primarily looking at the dollar, and its relationships with NBC, other networks around the world and corporate sponsors, and [has] not been sufficiently attentive to the athletes’ needs,” said Zimbalist, author of the book “Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup.”

He says athletes need to train in facilities — and compete in qualifying meets — that have been shut down thanks to COVID-19.

Amateur athletes will also need continued corporate support from companies like Nike and Adidas.

John Horan, founder of Sporting Goods Intelligence, says big brands are likely to keep up their sponsorships.

“They see the Olympics as a great time to introduce new product, and the world’s eye’s on them,” he said.

Horan noted that the Olympics aren’t nearly as important as soccer’s World Cup for generating sales. The next World Cup is in 2022.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

How many people are flying? Has traveled picked up?

Flying is starting to recover to levels the airline industry hasn’t seen in months. The Transportation Security Administration announced on Oct. 19 that it’s screened more than 1 million passengers on a single day — its highest number since March 17. The TSA also screened more than 6 million passengers last week, its highest weekly volume since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While travel is improving, the TSA announcement comes amid warnings that the U.S. is in the third wave of the coronavirus. There are now more than 8 million cases in the country, with more than 219,000 deaths.

How are Americans feeling about their finances?

Nearly half of all Americans would have trouble paying for an unexpected $250 bill and a third of Americans have less income than before the pandemic, according to the latest results of our Marketplace-Edison Poll. Also, 6 in 10 Americans think that race has at least some impact on an individual’s long-term financial situation, but Black respondents are much more likely to think that race has a big impact on a person’s long-term financial situation than white or Hispanic/Latinx respondents.

Find the rest of the poll results here, which cover how Americans have been faring financially about six months into the pandemic, race and equity within the workplace and some of the key issues Trump and Biden supporters are concerned about.

What’s going to happen to retailers, especially with the holiday shopping season approaching?

A report out recently from the accounting consultancy BDO USA said 29 big retailers filed for bankruptcy protection through August. And if bankruptcies continue at that pace, the number could rival the bankruptcies of 2010, after the Great Recession. For retailers, the last three months of this year will be even more critical than usual for their survival as they look for some hope around the holidays.

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