With five months to go before the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian organizers are struggling to sell tickets for South America’s first games. The IOC president Thomas Bach said the locals will buy up tickets at the last minute.
On a day when Rio organizers provided reassurances over the Zika outbreak, venue delays, doping legislation, metro construction and other issues, Rio organizing committee spokesman Mario Andrada revealed that only about 47% of the 7.5 million tickets on offer have been sold so far.
The revenue from ticket sales stands at US$194 million, or 74% of total target, he said.
Tickets for “premier events” and the August 5 opening ceremony at the Maracanã Stadium are essentially sold out, Andrada said. Most tickets for the foreign market have been sold, he added, leaving domestic sales as the main priority.
“We are going to increase the ability for people to buy tickets,” Andrada said. “We plan to set up electronic ticket sales kiosks across the city.”
For the 2012 London Olympics, British organizers sold 8.2 million out of 8.5 million tickets. They raised 659 million pounds (nearly US$1 billion) in ticket sales from the Olympics and Paralympics.
Ticket prices for the Rio Olympics range from 40 Reals (US$10) to a high of 4,600 Reals (US$1,170) for the opening ceremony. The average ticket price is 70 Reals (US$18) or less.