SBD/August 6, 2012/Olympics

Rio 2016 CEO Looks Ahead At Ticketing Dilemna To Avoid Empty Seats At Games

Rio Olympics Organizing Committee CEO Leonardo Gryner revealed Rio 2016 wants to "flexibilize" the sale of tickets and the last-minute occupation of seats at Olympic events to "avoid the problems faced by London 2012," according to Paula Adamo Idoeta of BBC BRASIL. The committee also wants to "avoid combining two games in one session" like London has done on occasions. Gryner said, "They buy or win tickets, but they do not attend. I am certain that in Rio there will be a better result than in London, but we do recognize it's a huge challenge." Gryner also revealed that another topic of preoccupation is transportation in Rio. Gryner: "The lesson is that here (London) the transport is working well. We are going to take the experience to Rio" (BBC Brasil, 8/3). The AP's Stephen Wilson reported that Brazilian organizers are "promising full venues at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, vowing to avoid the problem of empty seats that has dogged the London Games." When it comes to the cost of the Rio Games, officials "acknowledged they don't have an exact figure." But Gryner said that Rio "should have precise budget numbers next year" (AP, 8/3). Meanwhile, the AP reported Rio organizers “plan to keep the name of disgraced former FIFA president Joao Havelange on their main stadium.” Gryner said that Havelange “is a ‘historical icon’ of Brazilian sport, and is proud to be associated with him.” Havelange last month was identified "for taking million-dollar kickbacks from World Cup television deals in the 1990s” (AP, 8/3).

AMERICAN GAMES SOON? In Baltimore, Candus Thomson notes Washington-Baltimore 2012 Regional Coalition President & CEO Dan Knise, a “key organizer of the region's unsuccessful bid” for the ‘12 Summer Games, is “gauging interest in making a run at the 2024 Games.” Knise believes "there's a little bit of a spark" in the region for another try. He said, "There have been some informal discussions with people” (Baltimore SUN, 8/6). In Phoenix, Dan Bickley asks, “When should America get back in the Olympic hosting business?” USA Basketball Chair Jerry Colangelo said that he is “hearing three cities might be interested in bidding for the next available slot in 2024: Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas.” The IOC and USOC "recently agreed on a new revenue-sharing deal that will last until 2040, one that might warm the relationship from an IOC perspective.” Chicago may be “viewed as taking a hit for the USOC, and convinced to bid again” after falling short in its effort to land the '16 Games. Dallas could use the Olympics “to stamp itself a world-class city,” while L.A. could “use the Games to modernize aging stadiums” (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 8/6).
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