Could the Tour de France could go ahead without any Spectators?
French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu says this year’s Tour de France could be staged without spectators in a bid to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Final deadline of May 15 to decide whether the 107th edition of the race will go ahead!
The French government is in talks with Tour organisers about the future of the 27 June – 19 July edition of world cycling’s top event which draws more than 10 millions fans annually to the roads of France.
All options are being considered including postponement or cancellation of the event which has been raced every year in peacetime since 1903, the minister said.
It is premature to decide whether the Tour de France can go ahead amid the coronavirus pandemic, France's sports minister has suggested.
“Everything is imaginable. We have [imposed spectator bans] for other competitions before, even though it won’t have the same impact because the business model of the Tour doesn’t depend on ticket sales like football or rugby,” she told France Bleu radio station on Wednesday.
The postponement of the Tokyo Olympics and the Euro 2020 football championships has focused attention on the Tour which winds its way for thousands of miles through the towns and villages of France in a wide loop for three weeks ending on the Champs Elysees in Paris.
“I think that today everybody is aware and responsible about the period of isolation we are going through and everyone knows the reasons and the benefits that it can bring to all,” she said.
“So finally it wouldn’t be so bad because you could still watch it on TV.”
Le Tour might not be a ticket paying event but without spectators it's impossible to put on. Cities, towns, communes pay small fortunes to have the race arrive, leave or pass through. Without tourism there is no money to recuperate those costs.
The Final deadline of May 15 will decide whether the 107th edition of the worlds biggest sporting events will take place.
Following the postponement of Euro 2020 and the Tokyo Olympic Games, the Tour de France - due to take place in June and July - is one of the last major global sporting events that has not yet been cancelled.
The Giro d'Italia, which was due to take place in May, has been postponed, but no decision has been taken as yet on the Vuelta a Espana, scheduled to start on 14 August.