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Sale of 7.5 million Olympic tickets begins in Rio

Tickets for the Rio Olympics went on sale on Tuesday with the first batch of a total 7.5 million tickets made available online to thousands of fans who had pre-registered via the official web portal

other Updated: Apr 03, 2015 00:16 IST

Tickets for the Rio Olympics went on sale on Tuesday with the first batch of a total 7.5 million tickets made available online to thousands of fans who had pre-registered via the official web portal

The sales process for Brazilian nationals and residents started from 1700 GMT after organisers last week released a detailed competition schedule for each sport allowing fans to seek out their favoured events.

Tuesday, fans were asked to choose based on sport, game day and event site, give their financial details and apply online.

One missing element was tickets for football matches due to be held in Sao Paulo amid a dispute with Corinthians football club, owners of the Corinthians Arena, over who must pay for "overlay" costs to adapt the venue for the Olympic tournament.

The club wants local government to stump up funds running to an estimated $10 million, though the figure is widely disputed.

The football event is the only sport to host action outside Rio owing to the amount of matches.

World governing body Fifa has given the green light to six cities and seven stadiums - Rio, Salvador, Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Manaus in Amazonia and Sao Paulo.

Porto Alegre in the south and Fortaleza in the northeast are possible stand-in options should Sao Paulo ultimately be dropped - but organizers insist there is "no plan B."

Tuesday, a source said: "Sao Paulo football tickets will be included in due course once negotiations are completed."

Home fans had to register via the official website for the initial sales phase running to April 30.

70% - or 5.2 million - tickets have been earmarked for Brazilian residents, millions of whom will be eligible for discounts and also able to pay in up to five monthly instalments.

Tickets will bear the name of the applicant, each of whom may apply for up to 20 event "sessions" and a maximum of 4-6 for each - four for the most popular attractions. An electronic platform is being established to redistribute returns.

Foreign fans must apply through a separate process for the August 5-21, 2016 extravaganza, South America's first ever Olympiad.

Fans have been required to register for both lottery draws - the current one whose result will be announced in June, then again in July, prioritizing unsuccessful first-wave applicants.

A real time, first come first served, sale of remaining tickets will follow from October for Brazilians and Brazil residents.

On-site box office sales for the remnants will then start from June next year prior to tickets being sent out from May, completing what organizing committee president Carlos Nuzman and commercial executive director Renato Ciuchini praised earlier this year as a "fair and transparent process".

Just over half of the tickets will be available for 70 reais ($30) or less.

The cheapest full price tickets will be 40 reais for weightlifting.

Pensioners, the disabled and students will enjoy half price concessions, meaning the cheapest deal of all will be just 20 reais.

National Olympic Committees have around 1 million - around 13% of the total - to sell to foreign fans outside of Brazil via authorised resellers listed on the official site.

3% of tickets will cost upwards of 600 reais for marquee events, including the men's 100m final whose defending champion is world record holder Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt.

Such events are pricey propositions for the poorest fans in a country where the minimum monthly wage is just 788 reais ($246) after January's annual readjustment.

The most expensive seats of all will be box seats for the opening ceremony at the Maracana stadium costing a hefty 4600 reais ($1440).

Organisers have warned ticket touts will face fines - selling tickets on for higher than face value, a practice illegal in Brazil but which notably occurred at last year's World Cup.

First Published: Apr 01, 2015 17:37 IST