RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Despite Rio de Janeiro's ticketing director saying that 29 percent of its Paralympics tickets had been sold, only 12 percent have been sold, according to multiple reports.
The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games begin on September 7 and feature 23 sports and 528 events in 21 venues.
"Many national teams may not even come if Rio2016 can't provide travel grants," Sports Business Daily's Ben Fischer tweeted Wednesday. "Paralympics facing profound challenges"
Rio's ticketing director told me two weeks ago it had sold 29% of Paralympics tickets. Rio 2016 spokesman has just confirmed it is only 12%— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) August 17, 2016
"Spokesman says committee doesn't think scalping/ticket illegalities are a major contributor to empty stadiums," Fischer tweeted.
Many national teams may not even come if Rio2016 can’t provide travel grants. Paralympics facing profound challenges https://t.co/2rQcheTqKo— Ben Fischer (@BenFischerSBJ) August 17, 2016
Flavio Machado is the executive producer of the Paralympic Ceremonies. He told the Rio 2016 website that the show's object this year will be to "launch a fresh way of looking at disability."
#Rio2016 has sold 12 percent of Paralympic tickets, spokesman says.— Ben Fischer (@BenFischerSBJ) August 17, 2016
"We all have impairments or imperfections, it's part of our diversity," Machado said. "The point is to break boundaries, to overcome, and this comes from willpower – from the heart."
Why now 12% not 29% Paralympics tickets sold? - Rio mayor prevented buying 500k tickets to distribute for free so they're available too— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) August 17, 2016
NPR's Camila Domonoske wrote about the "major budget crisis...threatening this year's Paralympic Games."
#Rio2016 spokesman says committee doesn’t think scalping/ticket illegalities are a major contributor to empty stadiums.— Ben Fischer (@BenFischerSBJ) August 17, 2016
"Although the situation is pretty precarious, rumors that the Games may not go ahead or that sports may be cut are totally unfounded and not true," International Paralympic Committee president Philip Craven said in a statement.
According to the Olympic website, the origin of the Paralympic Games stretches back to 1948.