Lausanne 2020 has announced it will implement a similar ticketing policy for its staging of the winter Youth Olympic Games as that employed by Buenos Aires for last year’s summer edition, with all events to be free of charge, aside from the opening ceremony.

Local organisers in the Swiss city made the announcement yesterday (Wednesday) as they marked the one-year countdown to the event with the official unveiling of the Games’ mascot. The opening ceremony is due to be held at a new ice hockey arena being developed for the Games and ice hockey’s 2020 World Championship, with tickets to be put on sale for this occasion.

The Inside the Games website said the ticketing programme for the Games is yet to be decided as the local organising committee has yet to appoint a partner. However, sporting events are set to be free to access.

“We will develop the concept with the accessibility and will manage the access, the entire Games will be managed,” Lausanne 2020 chief executive Ian Logan said. “We will also have some contingency plans.”

Buenos Aires 2018 implemented a system whereby a total of 600,000 digital passes were issued, granting access to the entire sporting programme and ceremonies to spectators who registered for them.

Inside the Games noted that this system did lead to long queues at certain venues, with some fans arriving more than two hours before competition started in order to secure a seat. However, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is said to have been impressed by its implementation.

Logan added that Lausanne 2020 is likely to differ from the way Buenos Aires 2018 managed the ticketing policy.

The Lausanne 2020 Youth Games will take place from January 9-22 and feature 1,800 athletes from more than 80 countries. The competitions will take place in the Cantons of Vaud (Lausanne, Leysin, Les Diablerets, Villars, Vallée de Joux), Valais (Champéry) and Grisons (St. Moritz), as well as neighbouring France (Prémanon-Les Tuffes).

Image: Lausanne 2020