Measures needed to prevent Olympic tickets from being resold at high prices
January 23, 2018 | 75° | Check Traffic

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Measures needed to prevent Olympic tickets from being resold at high prices

  • JAPAN NEWS-YOMIURI

    Construction is continuing on the new National Stadium in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward.

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About 10 million tickets are expected to be sold for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. Tickets for the opening ceremony and certain other events will be in great demand.

For a great number of people to be able to enjoy the real pleasures of the Olympics at reasonable ticket prices, measures should be expeditiously worked out to prevent tickets from being resold at high prices.

During the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, a member of the International Olympic Committee’s executive board was arrested on charges including the illegal resale of tickets. There were also some stadiums in which many seats were left unoccupied despite the brisk sales of tickets. The proper sale of tickets has been a major challenge for Olympic Games in recent years.

When Tokyo submitted its bid to host the Games, it stipulated that the resale of tickets will be strictly banned.

It also stated that a system to exchange tickets would be developed for the Games. This is a system allowing people who purchased tickets but cannot attend an event to resell them via the internet for close-to-list prices.

There are a number of such websites for agent-mediated resales of tickets. The transactions can be conducted easily via computer or smartphone. This market is said to transfer tickets valued at millions of dollars a year. (The resale of tickets for music events at exorbitantly high prices has become a social problem.)

It is only natural for those who want to resell their tickets to seek the highest price possible.

How can the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games ensure that the ticket-exchange system will function effectively?

The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry and other entities are testing electronic tickets. This is a method of using smartphones or cards that use a system to identify ticket holders at the time of entry. This is expected to be somewhat effective in preventing ticket resales.

Thorough confirmation a ticket holder’s identity will prevent suspicious people from entering venues.

There are many hurdles ahead before this system can be successful, including the enormous expense of installing specialized ticket gates. Another issue to consider is spectators who do not have smartphones.

The system still needs to be assessed to determine its efficacy during the Tokyo Games.

Tokyo and most other prefectural governments have ordinances banning ticket scalping. Yet when these regulations were made, there were no online agencies to resell tickets.

The organizing committee has asked a nonpartisan league of lawmakers to consider improving relevant legislation.

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