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Japan allowed a full crowd into a Tokyo baseball stadium Friday as the nation began testing its COVID protection measures. It will continue testing for three consecutive days. The goal is to see how the nation’s detection measures work with a crowd of 32,000 in attendance who will inevitably react to the action on the field.
“Engineers have installed dozens of high-resolution cameras and sensors across the stadium to monitor mask-wearing and the movements of excited fans, while CO2 detectors will be used to measure crowd density,” according to an Agence France-Presse report.
The data gathered will be entered into Japan’s “Fugaku” supercomputer to see what happens to airborne droplets. “With the wind, and the way stadiums are built with tiered seats, we need to know how droplets spread in such circumstances to prevent infections,” a Japanese official told AFP.
Yokohama Stadium, where the research will be gathered, will host baseball and softball during the Olympic Games which are now set for July 2021. Japan will also start testing what happens to droplets inside domed stadiums.
Why does this all matter here? There’s a report that Super Bowl LV will have just 13,000 fans allowed into the game, Adam Silver wants fans in the stands when the NBA returns, and Major League Baseball desperately needs fans in the stands come April. At this point, any data on how to proceed is better than no data.
Major League Baseball is already using words such as “devastating” for what things would look like financially if fans aren’t in the stands for the 2021 season.