Industry News

Rio 2016 ticket resellers to be refunded this week, say organisers

Authorised ticket resellers (ATR) awaiting refunds from Rio 2016 organisers have been told they will be reimbursed by tomorrow (January 10).

Concerns have been raised by ticket operators, sponsors and National Olympic Committees that financial problems could lead to them being left out of pocket.

Under International Olympic Committee (IOC) rules, any tickets which Games vendors want to return must be done so through the official Organising Committee portal rather than via a bilateral exchange within another company. Rio 2016 organisers have, therefore, received money paid by companies in order to re-buy refunded tickets, but without yet returning the initial money paid before they were refunded.

The InsideTheGames sports business website reports that each company has been told that they will receive the refunds in one lump sum when they are eventually paid.

However, Rio 2016 communications director Mario Andrada claims that the reason all the payments were not made was because the data had not been entered in the correct forms and digits.

“All those formatted properly should be made by Tuesday,” he said, according to InsideTheGames.

But ATR representatives deny having entered payments incorrectly.

“None of us have yet received our money,” one figure, who wished to remain anonymous, told InsideTheGames. “We are worried that we will ever be paid. We plan to write a letter to the IOC if we are not paid soon.

“The ticketing process for Pyeongchang 2018 is due to be opened next month [to coincide with one-year-to-go on February 9] but none of us can yet close our Rio accounts.”

Of the 20,000 suppliers who money was still owed to after the Rio 2016 Paralympics ended, it was claimed in late November that 700 deals remain yet to be finalised.

Resellers were told in an email on November 2 that there would be delays. InsideTheGames reports that in additional emails, Rio’s ticketing department blamed the IOC for not having paid money vital for the refunds to be completed. They were also supposedly awaiting payments from different levels of the Brazilian Government.

However, InsideTheGames reports that Andrada has confirmed that the IOC money has been received, and that delays are not now due to a shortage of available money.

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