Featured News

Tokyo 2020 to use lottery to reduce ticketholder numbers

Tickets for several sessions at this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo will be subject to a lottery in order to implement the capacity limits set out earlier this week.

Today’s (Wednesday’s) announcement details the next steps regarding tickets, following the announcement of the spectator limit for the Olympic Games that was made at Monday’s Five-Party Meeting.

This set out that Tokyo 2020 venues would be able to operate at 50 per cent capacity, with a limit of up to 10,000 fans.

Organisers of the Games, which will only be open to Japanese fans, have apologised in advance to ticketholders who will no longer be able to attend as a result of the lottery. The results will be announced on July 6 and those that miss out will be fully refunded the face value of the ticket.

The lottery will be required for slightly more than 10 per cent of sessions, with more than 80 per cent not reaching the capacity limit.

Sessions that will be subject to the lottery include the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as athletics, golf and football, among five others.

Tokyo 2020 said in a statement: “Upon decision of the spectator capacity limit, for those sessions which would be attended by spectators in excess of such limit, the lottery on tickets owned to reduce the number of tickets will be conducted.

“For ticketholders of those sessions which we know you had been looking forward to spectating, we express our sincere apologies. We respectfully ask for your understanding of such measures which we believe would be critical for staging the safe and secure Games.”

Of the 4.48 million tickets that were purchased in lottery sales, approximately 2.72 million will remain after 840,000 requested refunds following last year’s postponement and the upcoming lottery to reduce numbers by a further 910,000 tickets next month.

This year’s rescheduled Olympics will take place from July 23 to August 8, with the Paralympics to follow from August 24 to September 5.

In addition to the lottery, other changes include the cancellation of the ticket resale service. A voluntary refund window, from July 6-15, will instead be used for fans who can no longer attend.

Organisers have also cancelled additional sales phases, though it is yet to be determined whether the Paralympics will sell any further tickets.

The “initial in-person ticket sales using a postcard lottery” has also been
terminated and will not happen.

Successful ticketholders will be required to wear masks in competition venues at all times, while speaking in a loud voice or shouting will also be prohibited. Tokyo 2020 said: “Show you’re rooting for athletes and emotion to outstanding performances with clapping”.

Fans will leave venues in a staggered manner to reduce the risk of crowding and the potential spread of COVID-19, and fans will be requested to travel directly to venues and return home directly, taking all necessary precautions when moving between prefectures.

A decision on spectator capacities for the Paralympics will be announced on July 16, with the a potential lottery to take place the same day.

Mobile and postal paper tickets will no longer be accepted, with all passes to be print-at-home PDFs.

Image: Scott Kouchi/CC BY 2.0/Edited for size