NJPW President Takami Ohbari Requests That Vocal Crowd Noise Ban Be Lifted At Meeting In Japan

NJPW President Takami Ohbari wants to get the ban on vocal crowd noise lifted.

At NJPW shows, fans have not been able to freely cheer since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, they had only been allowed to clap until NJPW announced that some fans could cheer at reduced-capacity shows, starting in September.

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Several heads of combat sports organizations held a meeting in Japan, marking the first time they assembled since 2020. The professional wrestling industry was represented by Ohbari, NJPW Chairman Naoki Sugabayashi, CyberFight President Sanshiro Takagi, and TJPW Co-Founder Tetsuya Koda. Several MMA representatives, including the CEO of RIZIN and a producer of ONE Championship, also attended the meeting.

Speaking on behalf of NJPW and wrestling itself, Ohbari made two requests at the meeting, one of which centered around lifting the ban on vocal crowd noise in venues that are completely filled. He also asked local venues and governments to ease their restrictions.

Ohbari discussed this request, noting that some venues ignore the rule that allows vocal noise in venues that are at half capacity. He also stated that public agencies are no longer tracking people who have come into close contact with the public, though a number of venues still require contact information for individuals.

"There is a rule that says that if there is no vocal crowd noise, then the venue can accommodate 100% of the audience, but I would like you to reintroduce such a rule set by the government. There are venues and municipalities that do not accept the new rule, which states that areas with shouting can be accommodated at 50 percent capacity, while areas without shouting can be accommodated at 100 percent capacity, and these can coexist. Public agencies are no longer tracking people who have come into close contact with the public. Many venues are still required to have the contact information of individuals. The handling of personal information is very sensitive and burdensome," Ohbari said.

In response, the lead representative of the group emphasized that they are consulting with experts regarding vocal crowd noise in venues, and they will continue to study the situation as it potentially changes.

Fightful will provide more information as it becomes available.

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