Expert Alert: Olympics, Euros and COVID-19


Prof. Norm O’Reilly

With the new coronavirus spreading around the world, what will the outbreak mean for the Tokyo Summer Olympics and the Euro 2020 soccer championships, both set to be held in a few months?

Prof. Norman O’Reilly, School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management, is a leading scholar in the business of sport and is available for interviews.

Over the weekend, O’Reilly told CTV News Channel that Olympic and Euro officials would likely cancel the events only as a last resort.

“That would not be ideal, but it could be the very, very last choice,” he said.

He added that alternative arrangements might be made. For example, previous Euro soccer events have been held in empty stadiums amid concerns over terrorism. He added that for Euro organizers, game day ticket sales are not as important as media rights sales, since most fans watch the game on TV.

O’Reilly is the director of International Institute for Sport Business and Leadership at U of G’s Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics, and studies marketing, sponsorship, sport finance, social marketing and tourism management.

He is available for interviews.


Prof. Norm O’Reilly