(ATR) Ticket sales agents around the world are waiting for word from Tokyo about what’s next with the tickets already sold for the now postponed 2020 Olympics Games.
Alan Dizderevic, Co-CEO of CoSport/JetSet Sports, sales agent in the U.S. and seven other countries for Olympic tickets, tells Around the Rings that more definite word about the status of tickets already sold for this year is coming soon.
"The ticketing situation is very complex and multifaceted. We have been in touch with both TOCOG and the IOC and expect to have further information for our ticket and package customers by mid May, he says.
For now, ticket sales are suspended in Japan and internationally.
Tokyo organizers are now scrambling to secure the same venues before they are able to make a transition to a timetable for 2021. In March, shortly after deciding on the one year postponement for the Games, the IOC and Tokyo 2020 set new dates, July 23 to August 8 for the Olympics and August 24 to September 8 for the Paralympics. Those dates are just one day different from the program set for this year.
While the terms and conditions of tickets sold by the U.S. agency do not include provisions for refunds due to the postponement, CoSport and other agents around the world are expected to fall in line with the terms being developed by Tokyo 2020.
"The tickets that have been purchased through Authorised Ticket Resellers (ATRs) of respective territories will be handled in line with the same principles as the tickets purchased by residents of Japan," says a statement on the Tokyo website.
Those principles include honoring tickets already purchased and refunds if the ticketholder cannot attend.
But Tokyo 2020 urges patience.
"Tokyo 2020 is currently working to confirm updates and changes related to the ticketing programme. Once the details are confirmed, we will inform through ATRs the next steps and possible options for overseas ticket purchasers. Please kindly understand it is a time-consuming process as the competition schedule must be confirmed before the ticketing programme schedule and plan can be updated," says the statement.
Dizdarevic says he expects additional inventory once Tokyo sorts the timetable for 2021.
Tokyo organizers had sold more than half of the 8 million+ tickets to the Games at the time of the postponement in March. Of that number 4.8 million have gone to the domestic market. Internationally, about 2 million tickets are earmarked for sale.
For customers who also booked hotel rooms with their tickets, Cosport is planning refunds. Dizdarevic says he expects to continue with hotels already secured for this July.
"Our partner hotels have been very understanding and flexible. We expect to have all the same hotels in 2021 as we did for 2020," he says.
One unknown facing Tokyo 2020 is how the status of the coronavirus pandemic will impact attendance in 2021. In a lengthy letter last week reviewing the many questions raised by the illness, IOC President Thomas Bach indicated that Olympic organizers would probably have to make adjustments and changes at venues as a virus countermeasure.
Dizdarevic says CoSport aims for a safe experience in Japan next year.
"Jet Set and CoSport will follow the industry’s highest standards for cleanliness and sanitation, so the customer experience can focus on the exceptional Olympic experience that Tokyo will offer in 2021," he says.
Reported by Ed Hula.