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Lima 2019 responds to complaints of empty seats

More than 450,000 tickets have been shifted so far for the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, though complaints of empty seats have been rife.

With 800,000 ticket made available for the multi-sport event, thousands remain unsold with over a week of competition left.

Around 25,000 tickets have been purchased every day since the Opening Ceremony on July 26 at the Estadio Nacional Del Peru.

Lima 2019 has attributed the low uptake to the football competition taking up a large part of the ticketing allocation, as games are played at the vast 32,000-capacity Estadio Universidad San Marcos.

Event organisers claim that 81 per cent of tickets for the Games have been sold, if football is not counted, though the sport has still proven to be popular amongst fans.

Other popular sports among ticket-buyers include volleyball, basketball, gymnastics, diving and athletics.

Prices for preliminary competition rounds start at 20 Soles ($6/£4.74/€5.36), with finals starting at 30 Soles, and with 50 per cent discounts for under-18s, seniors and people with a disability.

Lima 2019 spokesperson Carlos Manuel Lazarte addressed the issue of many spectators seeing empty seats in the stands.

He told InsidetheGames: “We have some tickets which are for a morning and evening session. Some watched the early session and can go in and out of the venue. Because they have the ticket we have to save that seat.

“In other cases, the tickets have sold but the ticket holders arrive late, while there are some tickets that are not for sale which are reserved for athletes and their families.

“There is an option for leaving the ticket when they leave the venue. This ticket can then be taken at no cost for someone who wants to access it. The ticket holder can leave it at the door.”

The Lima 2019 Pan American Games has welcomed 6,680 athletes from 41 countries and delegations from the Americas. The Games includes 39 sports and 61 disciplines, in which athletes will compete for gold, silver and bronze medals. 22 disciplines will be qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Image: Lima 2019