The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is advertising a new position heading up ticketing services as it continues to weigh up a switch to a centralised approach to marketing tickets for the Olympic Games.

The Inside the Games website said applications for the head of ticketing post are being accepted through to Thursday, with the successful candidate to oversee the “effective planning and delivery of all Games’ ticketing programmes” for the Summer, Winter and Youth Olympic Games.

The Olympic Games currently operates under a system whereby the local organising committee bears responsibility for the sale and distribution of tickets, including appointing authorised resellers for specific countries and territories.

However, the Games have been hit with high-profile ticketing scandals in the past, most recently at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In June 2018, an investigation into the scandal that took place during the 2016 Rio Olympics cost Irish authorities more than €312,765 (£267,000/$353,000).

The probe looked to determine the practice of ticket distribution for Rio 2016 by the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI). The non-statutory inquiry was initiated following the arrest of the former president of the OCI, Pat Hickey, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was alleged that he was involved in a ticket touting operation. The trial at which the former IOC Executive Board member was set to testify was suspended in November 2017 and is yet to resume.

In December 2015, the IOC opened up the possibility of a change in ticketing strategy for the Tokyo 2020 Games by launching an Invitation for Expression of Interest (IEI) process to secure a central supplier.

Under the Agenda 2020 reform initiative, which provides for the potential of adopting turnkey solutions for certain operations, the IOC requested contact from companies interested in further information regarding the provision of ticketing systems and services to support Tokyo 2020, along with the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing and the 2024 Summer Games, which will take place in Paris.

Ultimately this plan failed to be enacted in time for Tokyo 2020, which is currently engaged in the process of selling tickets for next year’s event. Tokyo 2020 this month said it will launch international ticket sales in June, while domestic sales for Japanese fans to begin in April.

The June 14 date marks the same date that Japan’s new anti-scalping law officially comes into force. Olympic organisers usually launch public sales, domestically and internationally, together.

Image: Tokyo 2020