Behind closed doors (sport)

The term "behind closed doors" is used in several sports to describe matches played where spectators are not allowed in the stadium or venue to watch.[1] The reasons for this may include punishment for a team found guilty of a certain act in the past, stadium safety problems, public health concerns, or to prevent potentially dangerous clashes between rival supporters.

Empty Ford Field in Detroit, USA, with only cardboard fans attending an NFL game amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Crowdless games are a rare occurrence in professional sports. When they do occur, it is usually the result of events beyond the control of the teams or fans, such as weather-related concerns, public health concerns, or wider civil disturbances unrelated to the game. For instance, the COVID-19 pandemic caused most sports leagues around the world to be played behind closed doors.[2][3]

Examples edit

Brazil edit

In Brazil, the practice of games without public access is known as "closed gates" (in Portuguese, portões fechados), even referred as such in the Brazilian Football Confederation's rulebook.[4] Once it was applied to a whole tournament: two rounds of the Campeonato Catarinense second division in 2014 were behind closed doors because the competing clubs did not deliver the security checks for their stadiums.[5] Sanitary reasons dictated the restriction in 2009, where two games of the Série D were played behind closed doors due to the H1N1 flu pandemic.[6]

North America edit

Washington Nationals players during the national anthem in front of cardboard fans, 2020

The most prevalent example of North American teams playing without fans in attendance was as a consequence of public health measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ultimately, these were determined by local health authorities which had the power to limit public gatherings. While the terms and duration of these measures varied by jurisdiction, as a general rule Canadian provincial measures were far more strict and kept in place considerably longer compared to those in U.S. states. Canadian authorities were also much less willing to grant exemptions for professional sports teams, with the exemptions granted being very limited in scope, in some cases, public health authorities threatened not to grant sufficient dispensation to allow a sufficient gathering to permit a game to be played at all.

A related issue affecting the leagues was travel restrictions, imposed at the federal, provincial and state levels, barring non-essential border crossings and/or mandating strict quarantine for border crossers, which would have restricted the availability of players if they frequently crossed the international border. The NHL, as the primarily U.S. based league with the most teams in Canada, responded to all of this by finishing the 2019-20 NHL season behind closed doors in restricted access "bubbles" in Canada and creating temporary divisions including the all-Canadian North Division for the 2020-21 NHL season.

The National Football League, which was in its offseason at the start of the pandemic, was the only league able to complete its season in 2020 with minimal disruption to the schedule. Over time, public health authorities began to allow crowds again, first in limited numbers. One of the consequences of this was that Super Bowl LV, the first to be held in the stadium of a participating team, was also the least-attended Super Bowl in history. By the autumn of 2021, capacity crowds were generally allowed throughout the United States although some Canadian jurisdictions continued to limit attendance. By the spring of 2022, capacity limits were lifted in Canada as well.

Several leagues have collective bargaining agreements which mandate that the players as a group receive a defined percentage of league revenues. This meant the owners had the legal right to recoup a portion of any lost ticket revenues, as in these leagues a portion of salaries is paid into escrow pending a final determination of revenue. In some cases, such as the NHL, the owners and players agreed to modify their CBA to defer this "debt" over several years. In Major League Baseball, which does not have such defined revenue sharing, players agreed to receive pro-rated salaries over a reduced 60 game schedule for the 2020 Major League Baseball season.

Minor League Baseball and the Canadian Football League both cancelled their summer 2020 seasons rather than attempt to go crowdless (the CFL has substantial television revenue, but not enough to cover salaries and other gameday expenses, with no prospect of convincing provincial governments to allow crowds to attend games at this time this meant the league lost less money by not playing).

Hooliganism has been less of a factor in North American sports than in the rest of the world. Local law enforcement in the United States and Canada are traditionally armed, unlike in some other countries. In addition, private security contractors working for either the team or a league, and national agencies such as the United States Department of Homeland Security take large roles in preventing situations of fan violence before they can occur by restricting access to known troublesome fans either at the gate or at the stage of selling tickets (such as "do not sell" lists), along with heavy restrictions on bringing in items and screening with metal detectors and pat-down searches where bringing in a weapon or explosive device can result in immediate arrest and permanent banishment from a venue, and other examples such as the "clear bag" policy, which only allows spectators to bring in bags that can be easily seen through.

Teams also have incentive to prevent fan violence due to forfeit rules which come with penalties to their records and playoff positioning, and league sanctions such as fines and the stripping of draft picks due to neglecting to create a safe environment for players, which in turn can affect teams for years beyond a violent event. Also sporting events in North America are considered to be more of a family-friendly and uniting affair, as sports fans tend to respect each other as fans of a common sport. In other countries around the world, sports matches are sometimes proxies for bitter and long-standing ethnic, political, and religious divisions; this is less so in the United States, where the broad variety of sports options manifests as different ethnic groups preferring different sports, reducing the chance at intercultural rivalry within a single sport. While racial segregation in the United States once extended to organized sports, the primary intent was to exclude blacks from playing on white teams and leagues altogether, so the result was often the organization of separate teams and leagues for black players, whom the white teams simply refused to play. When the "color lines" of each sport were finally broken, it was by formerly all-white teams signing black athletes instead of by admitting entire black teams, although numerous incidents of racist abuse by players and spectators did occur in the decades following integration.

Furthermore, the much larger geographical footprint of the North American sports leagues mean that even fierce rivals are often based hundreds or even thousands of miles apart. For example, while the Dallas Cowboys are considered to be the bitter rivals of every other team in the NFC East, their nearest division rival is based almost 1,100 miles (1,800 km) from the Dallas metropolitan area by air, and over 1,300 miles (2,100 km) from Dallas by road. The only other NFL team in Texas by contrast is in the opposite conference, so, meaning under normal circumstances they will only play each other every four years. Fans elsewhere in the world can easily travel to most if not all of their league's stadiums by road or by train, and bus and rail carriers have evolved there to cater to the expected demand. In contrast, fans of the North American sports leagues would need to travel by air if they wanted to attend most of their team's road games, and though certain teams' fan bases are known for having large presences in opposing stadiums. In contrast to the local derbies of European soccer, some North American teams in the same metropolitan areas, especially in baseball and (gridiron) football, are separated into opposite conferences or leagues so that they are among the least frequent opponents on their schedules, inhibiting the development of a crosstown rivalry and allowing fans in a metropolitan area to support both teams with minimal conflict. Furthermore, unlike in most geographically smaller and more densely populated countries, teams are typically not required to (and typically do not) set aside whole sections of their stadiums for opposing fans and instead sells almost all tickets to the first takers, further disincentivizing them from traveling to away games.

All of these reduce the chances of hooliganism, eliminate the need to segregate fans from opposing teams, and ultimately negate the threat of a closed-door game due as a consequence of fan violence. In rare circumstances where a serious incident has occurred (such the 2004 Pacers–Pistons brawl in the NBA), sports authorities have leaned toward identifying and excluding the specific people involved as opposed to indiscriminately punishing the wider, law-abiding fan base. In contrast to the rest of the world where "behind closed doors" games are given out as penalties for previous violations or to prevent potential violence (stadium safety issues, checkered history of rival supporters), such occurrences in North America have happened for entirely different reasons.

History edit

World Chess Championship 1972 edit

Perhaps one of the first and most famous incidents of a sport being carried out behind closed doors was Game 3 of the World Chess Championship 1972 in Reykjavík, Iceland, often referred to as the Match of the Century. Eventual winner Bobby Fischer, who was upset by the noise of film cameras, insisted he would not play unless it was behind closed doors. Sportingly, his opponent, Boris Spassky, obliged Fischer's request rather than claim a win by forfeit.[7]

1980–81 European Cup Winners' Cup edit

After rioting by fans in the first leg against Castilla in Spain, West Ham United were forced to play the second leg at Upton Park in October 1980 to an empty stadium.[8]

1982–83 European Cup edit

After rioting by fans in a semifinal at Anderlecht in Belgium the previous April, Aston Villa were forced to begin their defence of the European Cup at an empty Villa Park in a September 1982 first round match, with the match kicking off at 2:30 pm on a Wednesday afternoon.[9]

1987–88 European Cup edit

After UEFA ban resulting from the incidents in the match between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in a semifinal in Spain the previous April, Real Madrid were forced to play the match at home against Napoli in the European Cup at an empty Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on 16 September 1987.

2007 Italian Football edit

As a result of a policeman being killed during rioting at a Serie A match between Catania and Palermo on 2 February, the Italian Football Federation suspended all Italian matches indefinitely. Subsequently, matches resumed but many clubs were ordered to play their games behind closed doors until their stadiums met with updated security regulations.

2009 Italian Football edit

Juventus were ordered to play a home game behind closed doors after their fans had racially abused Internazionale striker Mario Balotelli during a 1–1 Serie A draw in April 2009.[10]

2009 Davis Cup match in Sweden edit

In March 2009, Sweden's Davis Cup tennis team was slated to host a qualifying match against Israel's team in the city of Malmö. The local authorities in Malmö, particularly the city's then-Mayor, did not want an Israeli team to play there and pushed to cancel the match. When the Swedish Tennis Association noted that a cancellation would result in Sweden suffering a forfeit loss and being eliminated from the Davis Cup altogether, it was agreed that the Sweden-Israel match would be played without spectators on "security grounds". Rioting outside the arena led to numerous arrests, and in the end Sweden lost to Israel and saw their 2009 Davis Cup run end anyway.

2009–10 UEFA Europa League edit

FC Dinamo București had to play two group stage home games behind closed doors after their match against FC Slovan Liberec on 25 August 2009 was abandoned in the 88th minute due to a pitch invasion by Dinamo fans.

2009 Mexico Clausura edit

During the penultimate round of league games all teams had to play with closed doors due to the H1N1 swine flu outbreak in infected cities. Several games taking place in areas which were badly affected by the outbreak were also played behind closed doors the following week. Games behind closed doors have been played regularly as a penalty for bad behavior of fans in Mexico, most recently an Apertura 2015 game in which Atlas hosted Querétaro at Estadio Jalisco because of last season quarterfinal game in which Atlas fans invaded the pitch against their hated rivals Guadalajara.[11]

2010–11 Heineken Cup edit

In rugby union, the 2010–11 Heineken Cup pool stage match between Edinburgh and Castres at Murrayfield was played behind closed doors on 20 December 2010. The match was originally scheduled for 19 December, but was postponed due to heavy snow in Edinburgh that covered the pitch and created major access issues for potential spectators. The competition organiser, European Rugby Cup, decided to hold the rescheduled match behind closed doors to remove any possible danger to spectators attempting to travel to the match.[12]

Turkish Football in 2011–12 edit

Starting with the 2011–12 season, the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) instituted a modified version of this rule. The penalty for a team sanctioned for crowd violence is now a ban on both ticket sales to, and attendance by, males over age 12 (as spectators). Women, and children under age 12 of either sex, are admitted free. The first game under the new rule took place on 20 September 2011, when Fenerbahçe hosted Manisaspor at Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium in Istanbul. Over 41,000 women and children attended the match (plus a small number of men who had sneaked into the stadium). The experiment was so successful that the TFF planned to require that teams allocate an unspecified number of free tickets for women and children at all future club matches.[13] Shortly thereafter, the TFF stated that it would reimburse clubs for free tickets given to women and children for regular league games (i.e., games not subject to crowd restrictions), and increased the upper age limit for "children" for the purposes of free ticketing to 15.[14]

Ajax–AZ, 2011–12 KNVB Cup edit

A match between Eredivisie clubs Ajax and AZ in the fourth round of the 2011–12 KNVB Cup was replayed behind closed doors at Ajax's home ground, Amsterdam Arena, on 19 January 2012.

In the original match, held at the same venue on 21 December 2011, Ajax held a 1–0 lead when a fan ran onto the pitch and launched a karate kick from behind against AZ goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado, who responded by attacking the fan before police and security arrived. When Alvarado was sent off for retaliating against his attacker, AZ left the pitch, and the match was abandoned. The KNVB rescinded the red card and ordered the match replayed in its entirety.

After Ajax also apologised to their opponents, they were fined €10,000 for failing to provide adequate security to prevent the fan, who was serving a three-year stadium ban, from entering the arena. Ajax accepted the penalties, and announced that it had extended the fan's stadium ban by 30 years and banned him for life from the club and its season ticket list.[15]

2014 Urawa Red Diamonds edit

On 8 March 2014, the Urawa Red Diamonds were forced by the J.League to play their next game against Shimizu S-Pulse in front of only journalists and security as the Reds hung up a banner in Saitama Stadium which read "JAPANESE ONLY", which was deemed racist against fans.[16]

Barcelona–Las Palmas, 2017–18 La Liga edit

Surrounding violence in Catalonia due to the 2017 Catalan independence referendum, the match between Barcelona and Las Palmas in the 2017–18 La Liga was played behind closed doors. Barcelona first requested the LFP to postpone their match which was to be played on the same day as the referendum. This request was declined by the LFP, saying that, if Barcelona refused to play the match, their six points would be deducted. To protect the fans, as well as in protest to LFP's decision, Barcelona played the match behind closed doors, a first at their stadium, Camp Nou. The match ended 3–0 in favor of Barcelona.[17][18][19]

Philippines–Qatar, 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Asian Qualifiers edit

As part of the sanctions handed to the Philippine men's basketball team in the aftermath of their involvement in their brawl against Australia during their home game on 2 July 2018, the Philippine national team was obliged to play their next home match in the second round of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers behind closed doors with the succeeding two home games being placed under probation.[20] The lone game that was played behind closed doors was their home game against Qatar on 17 September 2018 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Querétaro–Atlas riot edit

On 5 March 2022, a riot broke out among fans during a Liga MX football game between Querétaro F.C. and Atlas F.C.,[21] injuring at least 26 people.[22]

In the aftermath of the riots, Querétaro was ordered to play its home matches behind closed doors for up to a year, while also banning its supporters' group for three years, and the club's owners being required to divest the club, and be prohibited from league activities for five years.[23][24] Liga MX's second-tier league, Liga de Expansión MX, ordered all matches league-wide to be played behind closed doors from 8–13 March 2022.[25]

Major League Baseball edit

On 28 April 2015, a Major League Baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles was played behind closed doors due to security concerns. The death of African-American resident Freddie Gray while in police custody had led to ongoing riots and civil unrest in the city; the game was to have been the last game of a three-game series, but the first two had already been postponed due to the unrest. The game was also moved from the evening to the afternoon, as a 10 p.m. curfew would have required suspension of the game had it been played at its original time. The game was televised in the Baltimore and Chicago markets, and was also offered as the "free game of the day" on MLB's streaming service nationwide.[26] Unofficially, some fans were able to watch the game through obstructed gates in left-center field, along with guests at the nearby Hilton Baltimore, which overlooks Camden Yards.[27] MLB refused to acknowledge or record the attendance as zero, so as not to disturb the otherwise unbreakable record of 6 paying spectators who witnessed the Worcester National League team's penultimate game in 1882; instead, MLB recorded the attendance (as well as all of the later COVID-related crowdless games of 2020) as "N/A".[28]

This was the first time a major professional sporting event in North America was held in an empty venue; in Minor League Baseball, a 2008 Iowa Cubs game was played without public admittance due to flooding in Des Moines, Iowa, while a 2002 Charleston RiverDogs game featured an intentional "Nobody Night" stunt, where spectators could not take their seat in the stands (but were still allowed to be in other areas of the ballpark) until after the attendance count was made official in the fifth inning. Approximately 1,800 spectators were in attendance.[29]

PGA Tour Golf edit

While large galleries consisting of thousands of fans are standard for top-level professional golf events in the United States, on 30 June 2012, the third round of the 2012 AT&T National at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland was played without fans being admitted due to trees being downed and other storm damage caused by a derecho the night before. Additionally, the start of the third round was delayed to the early afternoon, instead of a morning start that is normal for a round of a golf tournament utilizing a stroke play format, in order to allow for the continuation of course clean-up efforts. This is the first of two recorded instances of any part of a PGA Tour event being played without a gallery present.[30]

In the 2016 Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course in the La Jolla community of San Diego, California, after inclement weather disrupted play on Sunday and several trees were ripped apart on the golf course, fans were barred from the premises for the Monday conclusion of the final round of the tournament due to safety issues.[31] The 2018 edition of the same tournament also was finished behind closed doors on Monday. The sudden death playoff had reached five holes without a winner, and darkness made it impossible to complete the tournament. The event concluded Monday morning at 8:18 a.m. behind closed doors.

Ice Hockey edit

The Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League have played in two such "behind closed doors" games, both caused by severe winter storms when the opposing team and game officials had already arrived in the city. On 22 January 2016, the Checkers played against the Chicago Wolves behind closed doors because of a severe winter storm,[32] and the same again on 17 January 2018, the Checkers played against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers behind closed doors as a result of inclement weather (ice and snow). Both games were played at Bojangles' Coliseum.[33]

In 1985, a measles outbreak on campus led Boston University to hold home ice hockey games without spectators for a week, in order to control the disease's spread. Basketball games were also affected, and other large public events on campus were also temporarily banned.[34]

COVID-19 pandemic edit

Games without crowds were often the norm during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the period before COVID-19 vaccinations were widely available, due to government-imposed restrictions on large gatherings to prevent spread of COVID-19. Many events that were not postponed or cancelled were held behind closed doors as broadcast-only events.

Sports edit

Association football edit

Athletics edit

  • The 2020 Tokyo Marathon was held with only elite competitors allowed to attend.[47]
  • Similarly, the London Marathon (originally scheduled for 26 April, but was postponed to 4 October) was also held only to attend elite competitors.[48]

Australian rules football edit

  • The 2020 AFL season played its first round of matches without spectators before suspending the season.[49] This continued into the 2021 season, with many games late in the season played under heavily restricted crowds or no crowds at all, especially late in the home-and-away season after a new Victorian outbreak.

Baseball edit

  • Japan's NPB held preseason games without fans until the season was postponed prior to opening day.[50] The league planned to return without fans by mid-June 2020.[51]
  • South Korea's KBO League began their 2020 season on 5 May without fans in attendance.
  • Taiwan's CPB League began play on 11 April without fans.[52] Starting 8 May, a maximum of 1,000 fans were permitted to attend games.[53][54]
  • Major League Baseball in the United States began its shortened 2020 season on 23 July and held without spectators.[55][56] However, fans were allowed to attend the NLCS and World Series in Arlington, Texas. The Toronto Blue Jays, MLB's only Canadian team, were denied permission by the Canadian government to play their games in Toronto; their games were played in Buffalo, New York at Sahlen Field, the home of one of the Blue Jays' minor league affiliates.

Basketball edit

Combat sports edit

Mixed martial arts edit
Professional wrestling edit

WWE moved all of its professional wrestling programs to a studio at its training facility in Orlando between 11 March 2020, and August 2020 with no audience, including its flagship event WrestleMania 36 (originally scheduled to be held at Tampa, Florida's Raymond James Stadium on 5 April).[69][70][71][72] In August, the promotion debuted an arena setup called the WWE ThunderDome to allow fans to virtually attend events;[73] a similar setup for their NXT brand dubbed the Capitol Wrestling Center debuted in October, though with a small crowd of select live fans allowed.[74] Rival promotion All Elite Wrestling similarly moved its weekly programs to a closed set, beginning 18 March at Daily's Place in Jacksonville, Florida (and a brief stint in April at a training warehouse in Georgia before returning to Daily's Place); the promotion began to a readmit a limited number of ticketed fans (10–15% capacity of venue) in late August 2020.[75] Other promotions similarly began holding shows behind closed doors.

Sumo edit

The Haru basho in Osaka, Japan.[50] When the tournament went underway several wrestlers, used to fighting in a usually packed arenas, remark on how odd it is to fight in a virtually empty arena, with Enhō commenting, "It's like I can't raise my fighting spirit...It made me wonder what I'm fighting for."[76]

Cricket edit

Gaelic games edit

Unlike other sports such as association football, the concept of "behind closed doors" as a form of punishment does not exist in Gaelic games such as football and hurling. It first emerged in the sports due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) first thought about playing games behind closed doors in March 2020 but decided against it at that time.[84] The following month it had still not been given serious thought by the organisation.[85] Opponents at this time included players such as Killian Young and managers such as Pete McGrath.[86][87] On the night of 18 August 2020, the Government imposed new restrictions as the pandemic worsened, and games (which had just resumed) were forced behind closed doors as a result.[88][89]

The later rounds of the 2020 National Football League and 2020 National Hurling League and the entirety of the 2020 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship and 2020 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship were played at grounds where spectators were not admitted. The 2020 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final was the first All-Ireland final to be played behind closed doors, followed less than two weeks later by the 2020 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final. Early rounds of the 2021 National Football League and 2021 National Hurling League were also played without crowds.

Golf edit

The 2020 Players Championship was scheduled to play on its second day as it was due to plan without spectators, organizers had to cancel the remainder of the event. This subsequently had the PGA Tour to suspend the event until 11 June.[90] With the Masters Tournament (the first men's major championship of 2020) being rescheduled from April to November, while the PGA Championship and U.S. Open also being rescheduled to August and September, respectively from their usual May and June schedule, and the Open Championship cancelled for the first time since 1945.[91] The PGA Championship became the first men's major of the season and was held behind closed doors.[92]

Likewise, the early LPGA season was merely affected by the pandemic as tournaments in Asia had cancelled early in response with the outbreak in China,[93] as the LPGA Tour had to suspend until 30 July.[94] With the ANA Inspiration tournament (the first women's major championship of 2020) being rescheduled from April to September, while the KPMG Women's PGA Championship and U.S. Women's Open also being rescheduled to October and December, respectively, with the Evian Championship (first rescheduled to 6–9 August after being postponed from the original July schedule) cancelled for the first time in its 26-year history.[95] However, the AIG Women's British Open became the first women's major of the season and was held behind closed doors, took place on the usual August schedule and went on as planned.[96]

Gridiron football edit

NFL game between the New York Giants and Washington Football Team at MetLife Stadium without fans in October 2020

A match between the Seattle Dragons and LA Wildcats of the XFL was scheduled to be played behind closed doors; the league's decision came shortly after Washington state governor Jay Inslee announced a ban on public assemblies of over 250 people.[97][98] The game was ultimately never played as the pandemic forced the league to prematurely terminate its 2020 season.[99]

During the 2020 NFL season, many games were played behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some teams allowed a limited number of fans for some or all of their home games.[100]

Horse racing edit

The British Horseracing Authority announced on 16 March that all horse racing in the UK would be held behind closed doors until the end of March.[101] Similarly, the annual Triple Crown races in the United States, including the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes were all held behind closed doors. The Kentucky Derby and Preakness States were both moved from their usual May scheduling to September and October, respectively, with the Belmont Stakes being held on its usual June date.[102]

Ice hockey edit

The Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League announced on 11 March 2020 that all of their remaining home games in the 2019–20 season at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio would be played behind closed doors due to an executive order by Ohio governor Mike DeWine that banned public gatherings with an attendance of 1,000 people or more.[103] This would subsequently become moot the following day when the NHL suspended its season. Starting on August 1, the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs commenced in the two bubble locations of Edmonton and Toronto with no fans present.

During the 2020–21 NHL season, three U.S.-based teams began the season admitting a limited number of spectators, but by the end of the regular season only the seven Canadian teams were playing crowdless games.[104][105][106][107] While the 2021–22 NHL season began with all teams hosting spectators at full capacity, by December 2021 all Canadian NHL teams became subject to provincial public health orders to control the spread of Omicron variant, with Quebec prohibiting spectators at all sporting events, and the owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets both enacted a behind closed doors policy after Ontario and Manitoba restricted arena capacity to a maximum of 1,000 and 250 people respectively.[108][109][66][110] As part of a wider array of games postponed due to players being placed under COVID-19 protocol due to positive tests, the NHL postponed almost all games hosted by Canadian teams (and in some cases, moved games to the home arena of their American opponent) for a period, specifically citing attendance restrictions as reasoning.[111]

Motorsport edit

Multi-sport events edit

Signs placed by the Tokyo Tomin First no Kai political party calling for the 2020 Summer Olympics to be held behind closed doors

Initially, the 2020 Summer Olympics (postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic) were approved for a maximum of 10,000 spectators or 50% capacity (whichever is lower) per-venue.[117] On 8 July 2021, it was announced that Tokyo and the three prefectures (Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama) would be placed under a new state of emergency from 12 July through 22 August due to rising cases in the area, and that spectators would be prohibited at all Olympic venues in the city. Organizers had already prohibited spectators and supporters from outside of Japan from attending the Games due to concerns over international travel restrictions.[118][119][120] Fukushima and Hokkaido later followed suit and would also prohibit spectators during the Games.[121]

Tennis edit

The 2020 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California was postponed shortly before the beginning of the qualifying stage after a COVID-19 case was confirmed within Riverside County and the county's health department declared a public health emergency.[122] Subsequently, both the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and Women's Tennis Association (WTA) announced that their seasons would be suspended until at least 31 July, with the 2020 French Open being rescheduled to September and Wimbledon being cancelled for the first time since 1945. Furthermore, the US Open was played without spectators on the original late-August date as planned.[123][124] Additionally, the 2020 ATP Finals held in London (the final year London hosted the finals) was played without spectators as planned.[125]

Non-sporting events edit

See also edit

References edit

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  3. ^ Baseball ready to step up to the plate, deliver shortened season. NBC Sports, 23 June 2020
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  8. ^ "On the quiet: matches behind closed doors". 7 December 2004. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  9. ^ "Ipswich assignment no Roman holiday" by Peter Ball, The Times page 22, 15 September 1982
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  19. ^ Mackay, Hamish (1 October 2017). "Why Barcelona vs Las Palmas was played behind closed doors". Mirror. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  20. ^ FIBA World Cup: Philippine hoops exec saddened to lose 6th man in closed door game Archived 16 March 2020 at the Wayback Machine ABS-CBN News Accessed 21 July 2018
  21. ^ Baer, Jack (6 March 2022). "Mexican soccer league suspends all Sunday matches after fan riot". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
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  25. ^ Hugo Duran, Victor (6 March 2022). "Liga de Expansión MX anuncia que continuará con su calendario a puerta cerrada". Milenio (in Spanish). Grupo Multimedios.
  26. ^ Staff report (28 April 2015). "White Sox-Orioles game will be played Wednesday, closed to public". Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  27. ^ Encina, Eduardo A. & Kaltenbach, Chris (29 April 2015). "Even with Camden Yards closed to public, fans found way to support O's". The Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on 4 October 2015. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
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