New Japan President Harold Meij Explains Decision To Stop Running Events, When They’ll Host Empty Arena Shows
New Japan Pro-Wrestling President Harold Meij wants fans to know they might be in a holding pattern but the COVID-19 pandemic will not stop them.
Meij is featured in a new video message (seen above) and noted that New Japan has not had a live event since mid-March but thanked fans for their continued support. Meij wanted to take time to explain the reasoning behind their decisions, including the postponement and cancellation of many events, including Wrestle Dynasty at Madison Square Garden.
NJPW lost a large amount of money but he took time to outline the most important reasons why they aren’t running empty arena events right now.
1. To protect the health and safety of our wrestlers and staff
2. Our ability to use venues
3. NJPW’s Corporate Social Responsibility
Meij went on to explain that safety is by no means guaranteed, noting data proves there’s a high level of infection in cities like Tokyo, and exposing talent to those conditions is an unnecessary risk. Many venues are government sanctioned and they’ve decided to stop live events, even shows without fans because it would not be responsible to host events in those conditions. He went on to say NJPW is an industry leader and with that position comes a great responsibility. They’ve been advised to make smart decisions individually and as a company and they won’t trade their positive reputation even in the wake of the current situation.
The first step for New Japan’s return will be empty arena events only when restrictions are lifted and matches can take place in a properly disinfected arena, and matches will be held in Japan and in their Los Angeles dojo. The next step would be to have fans return wearing masks and space in between fans, and the capacity will be half of what they are used to but they must act in the name of safety.
Meij closed the video by claiming “New Japan Pro-Wrestling will be back soon, stronger and prouder than ever.”