(ATR) Ticket resellers began posting hospitality packages for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics online months beforebeing allowed to do so, Around the Rings has learned.
Tokyo 2020 spokesperson Masa Takaya confirmed to ATR that packages began appearing online earlier this year despite the list of authorized ticket resellers not being finalized.
"We acknowledge that some ticket companies posted hospitality packages on their website; in collaboration with the IOC, we formally requested those companies to cease those activities, and they complied with our request," Takaya said in a statement. "On 20 July, we mentioned that a list of the Authorised Ticket Resellers of each country would be provided sometime after the spring of 2019. This was the latest announcement on ticketing."
International tickets for the Olympics are distributed through each National Olympic Committee based on an allocation system. Each NOC then nominates a company to serve as an authorized reseller of these tickets. All resellers must be approved by the Olympic Games Organizing Committee, and can only sell tickets within approved territories.
Resellers and NOCs could face sanctions for violating rules of the ticketing program.
The Rio 2016 Olympics had a ticketing controversy around the authorized reseller of tickets for the Olympic Council of Ireland. Rio police arrested hospitality group THG executive Kevin Mallon in Rio with a number of tickets allocated to the OCI. THG was not the approved reseller for the OCI, and ticket touting is illegal under Brazilian law.
The investigation eventually ensnared former OCI President Pat Hickey, who was arrested during the 2016 Olympics. That trial is still ongoing.
Ahead of the London 2012 Olympics, a number of NOCs were embroiled in a ticket touting scandal uncovered by the Sunday Times. Over 50 NOCs were reported to have offered London 2012 tickets on the black market, well above face value.
Tokyo 2020 has set prices for both the 2020 Olympicand Paralympic ticket program. Ticket sales both domestic and internationally will commence next spring.
Takaya told ATR that venue seating plans are still being worked out so the number of tickets for the Tokyo Games remains to be determined. Takaya previously said that Tokyo plans to target a program similar in size to London 2012.
"We have only been using the number of tickets sold for London 2012, I think it was about [11 million] tickets available for the general public," Takaya said to ATRlast month. "That’s the only figure we have now. The number would be similar, there wouldn’t be a big difference between the two Games."
Written by Aaron Bauer
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