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Just 12 percent of Rio Paralympics tickets sold

By
Alex Butler
A platform diver makes a practice dive before empty seats at the venue for diving and water polo at the Olympic Park, as final preparations are made for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 3, 2016. Opening ceremonies are in two days. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI
A platform diver makes a practice dive before empty seats at the venue for diving and water polo at the Olympic Park, as final preparations are made for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 3, 2016. Opening ceremonies are in two days. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

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.

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"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"

"Spokesman says committee doesn't think scalping/ticket illegalities are a major contributor to empty stadiums," Fischer tweeted.

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."

"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."

NPR's Camila Domonoske wrote about the "major budget crisis...threatening this year's Paralympic Games."

"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.

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