No spectators to be permitted in arena for Olympic men’s volleyball tournament

Photo courtesy of the FIVB

The path to the media podium for the U.S. Men’s National Team will be without fans in the stands because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Japanese government on Thursday declared a state of emergency for Tokyo that will prohibit spectators from attending the Olympic men’s volleyball tournament and all other sporting events taking place in venues during the upcoming Olympics.

The decision to restrict fans for the Tokyo games results from an increasing number of coronavirus cases in the city. Fans from nations outside of Japan already had been prohibited months ago to attend the games in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.


This will be the second consecutive international tournament the United States will play without fans. The United States playing in both a crowdless arena and a secure bubble in Rimini, Italy, finished the 2021 FIVB Volleyball Nations League in seventh place.

The 12-team Olympic men’s volleyball tournament will be played at Ariake Arena, which had a seating capacity of 15,000 spectators.

The defending Olympic bronze medalists United States are attempting to win its first gold medal since 2008. The team during this Olympic quadrennial won the silver medal at the 2019 Volleyball Nations League and won the bronze medal at the 2019 FIVB World Cup in Japan.

The United States will play France on July 24 in its first of five preliminary round matches. The top-four teams in each of the two six-team pools at the end of the preliminary round will advance to the Olympic quarterfinals.