Rio Games far from sold out, ticket sales at 82 percent
By Karolos Grohmann
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Another day of Olympic sports played out before empty seats led to an admission from organizers that only Friday's Opening Ceremony has so far sold out.
Demand for tickets is running at 82 percent, considerably below London four years ago even though they are roughly half the price.
Not even Brazil's Olympic soccer team in its first match at the Games has attracted a capacity crowd and on Sunday the women's sevens tournament was played in front of at best half-filled 15,000-seater Deodoro stadium while only a few thousand spectators watched the women's cycling road race.
''We have sold 82 percent of the tickets we have available, 5 million tickets. We still have 1.1 million tickets to sell,'' said Games spokesman Mario Andrada, although organizers say they had surpassed their financial target from sales by 5 percent.
''Yesterday we started the day with 388,000 tickets sold and we ended the day with 410,000 tickets sold, which means people are able to buy ticket at the venues,'' he said.
Brazil, having long run out of cash for the Olympics, is struggling with its worst recession since the 1930s amid a political crisis.
Suspended President Dilma Rousseff faces an impeachment trial later this month while interim President Michel Temer is also deeply unpopular and opinion polls show Brazilians want fresh elections.
Prices for the Rio tickets range between $10 and about $1,150 for the opening ceremony. More than half the tickets cost $17 or less, about half the price of London tickets. Continued...