With just a few weeks before the 2016 Rio Olympics opening ceremonies begin, only 70 percent of the tickets are sold. In other words, out of the 6.7 million tickets available, 1.8 million are still unsold. So, if you are a late-decider or purposely waited till the final weeks hoping for a better deal, you're in luck. Here are the best ways to find and buy tickets to attend your favorite events at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
1. Where to buy from authorized Rio 2016 ticket sites
You can buy your tickets directly from the ROCOG (Rio Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games). Not only will it also have tickets for most of the events but it gives buyers a choice of either eTicket delivery or will call. And, unlike an airline boarding pass that can't be printed until 24 hours before, ROCOG tickets can be printed soon after you buy them. Additionally, you can also go to CoSport, the official U.S. authorized ticket reseller, as they will have large inventories as well.
2. What to be aware of when buying Olympics tickets from online marketplaces
The last thing you want is to arrive in Rio, walk-up to the venue but blocked from entry because your ticket isn’t legit. Be smart, careful and cautious when buying Olympic tickets from online marketplaces or auctions like Stubhub, Viagogo, eBay, or 3rd party sites. While they can be a great way to get hard-to-find event tickets -- avoid being scammed by knowing what to look for and the rules when you are buying from a trusted party. As extra protection against fraudulent tickets, StubHub is not allowing any eTickets to be resold for the Olympics. Instead, StubHub is requiring sellers to ship their physical tickets to the StubHub offices in advance to guarantee authenticity. On eBay, make sure the seller is long-standing with positive feedback. Always inspect the tickets to make sure they are genuine with the correct design, event information and Rio 2016 hologram.
3. What to expect in Rio if you buy at the box office or from people outside the venues
If spontaneity is key to your experience, you can still get tickets once you arrive, but at the Rio box office you will be at the mercy of the remaining inventory. However, you could get lucky as fans and other ticket holders may also be looking to sell or trade their unused tickets. Tourist hotels, off-site box offices and arenas are common places where tickets can be purchased or traded, and you can always check social media for the latest information. Again, be sure to carefully inspect any ticket before you purchase. It is important to mention that selling tickets above face value is illegal in Brazil, which means you could get a good deal from other tourists as authorities in Rio plan to crack down on scalping.
4. Why being patient could really pay off
Buying Olympics tickets could be the one time when being a procrastinator can be advantageous. The lower demand events likely will not sell out and inventory is always being added to the more anticipated ones. By continuing to check the Rio2016.com and CoSport websites, you have a great opportunity to find and buy these tickets because many were earmarked for very expensive packages that have not sold and they will also be selling tickets from other countries who did not sell out of their allotment.
And, what you can expect to pay? Prices start at $10 and go up to $1400 for the best seats at the Opening Ceremony. Events such as Swimming, Artistic Gymnastics, and Track Cycling are always in high demand and this year is no exception. Keep in mind these amounts are based on a 3.33:1 BRL to USD exchange rate.
It is still not too late to get the tickets you want for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Last week, CoSport released a large number of tickets that included the most popular events like swimming, opening ceremony, and closing ceremony. Additionally, The Rio2016.com offers a resale experience on their site for people that have changed their event preferences, have extra tickets, or can no longer attend the Summer Games. It's not too late – start shopping!
-- Ken Hanscom is Chief Product Officer for InviteManager, which makes it easy for companies to share events, sports tickets and experiences with their customers while proving the ROI. It manages more than 15 million tickets and invitations annually and currently oversees the sale and distribution of Olympic ticket allocations for the United States Olympic Committee, NBC Universal and Cartan Tours, the re-seller of Olympics tickets for 34 countries around the globe. Email him at email@example.com .
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