Sochi Olympic still waiting to sell 330,000 tickets

Published on : Monday, January 27, 2014

Sochi-beyond-the-2014-Winter-Olympics-300x164Sochi Olympic Games is all set to make a spectacular display in the winter Olympic bonanza and there is much speculation on how the government can maintain peace and security for the thousands of tourists who will gather to watch this memorable event.

But with less than three weeks remaining for the Olympic Games to commence 330,000 tickets still remain unsold across many events. The question of security has stopped many from coming to Sochi but the empty seats might lead to a heavy financial and perceptual setback for Russia.

The Russia’s Olympic organising committee is trying to maintain a brave front and denying any such information. They say that the tickets have been sold for the popular events such as hockey, biathlon, figure skating, freestyle and snowboard. About 70 per cent tickets have already been sold and there is a very strong chance of the rest of thirty per cent to be sold at the last minute. The Committee is writing out the chances of any empty seats.

Those figures can be interpreted another way. According to the AP, a total of 1.1 million tickets were put on sale across all events. By Russia’s figures, that means roughly 330,000 tickets remain unsold.

As the AP notes, Vancouver’s Olympics in 2010 saw a 97 percent purchase rate of the 1.54 million tickets available. The 2012 Summer Games in London saw a similar 97 percent purchase rate, though in that case there were 8.5 million tickets for sale.

The major concerns are security and repeated threats have done nothing to calm the fears. Tickets for mountain events have been cut down by 50% due to security issues. Gerhard Heiberg of the International Olympic Committee said that he hoped Russians will fill not only their indoor stadiums but there will be enough people in the stadiums for the Nordic events.

A total of 213,000 spectators are expected to be at the Games, with approximately 75 percent of them being Russian. Tickets range in cost from the equivalent of £9 to the equivalent of £725 with more than half going for less than £90. However, as the AP notes, the average monthly salary in Russia is £540, making the tickets a luxury item.

Since there are no direct flights to Sochi Only Germany and Turkey fly directly into Sochi, with all other nations needing to either connect or fly to Moscow. The International visitor will need to get a universal “spectator’s pass” where visitors will need to provide their passport details for screening.

The nation has put in a lot of efforts in hosting this major event despite the hurdles it has faced from the bureaucratic, political, and economic forces. Despite the sale of lesser tickets one can be sure that the event will be among the best performances that Russia has put up. There is a lot of planning to provide the spectators watching this gala event a true worth of their penny. So let’s wait and watch this mega fanfare regardless of the financial gain that the nation will not perhaps be making due lesser sale of tickets.


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