Ticket sales under spotlight at six month mark of Rio's Paralmpics

Sun Mar 6, 2016 9:45am EST
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - With six months to go until the start of the Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Games, the first in Latin America, organizers are hoping a major publicity push will ease concerns about the slow pace of ticket sales.

Monday marks the milestone but it comes amid fears that an expected record global cumulative television audience of more than four billion will see empty seats at venues when the event starts on Sept. 7 in Rio's Maracana stadium.

Rio 2016 organizers disclosed last month that just 10 percent of the three million Paralympic tickets had been sold so far in Brazil.

Fewer than half the tickets for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics have also been sold with about five months to go.

"It’s true that ticket sales, if you compare them with how they went in London (2012) for both the Olympics and Paralympics, are way behind," International Paralympic Committee (IPC) president Philip Craven told Reuters in an interview.

"But I think you really do have to look at the different culture of how Brazilians and the people in Rio look to main events. They don’t look to buying their tickets one year out as happened in London."

London 2012 sold a record 2.76 million Paralympic tickets, with a global cumulative television audience of 3.8 billion.

Craven recognized there were concerns but said the six months milestone was the perfect time to really engage the local population.   Continued...

The logos of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games are pictured next to a message on a screen that reads "Message about Zika" during a media briefing in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, February 2, 2016. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes