Tokyo 2020 shaping up as a very pricey Olympics

With organisers hoping to earn $800 million from ticket sales alone, and hotel accomodation prices shooting up, Tokyo 2020 Olympics could turn out to be a very expensive event for attendees.

Tokyo organisers say there are 7.8 million tickets for the Olympics, of which 70-80% will go to the general public in Japan. The remaining tickets are sold abroad, or go to sponsors, national Olympic committees, and sports federations.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic organizers are offering high-end hospitality packages to Japan residents with prices soaring to 6.35 million yen — about $60,000.

Organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics say the luxurious hospitality packages are an “opportunity for family, friends and business contacts” to enjoy the games.

The tickets include specially selected Champagne, sake and beers — gourmet dining menu prepared by top international chefs — fine wines chosen by sommelier — elegant commemorative souvenir VIP access pass — first-class personal service capable of dealing with any request — event host and celebrity guests appearances.

In short, Tokyo is shaping up as a very pricey Olympics.

Ticket demand is unprecedented, so unofficial re-selling likely will flourish. Hotel rates are soaring. And getting here will be costly, particularly for people traveling from the Americas and Europe.

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“I don’t know if I can afford to go to the Olympics,” Brant Feldman, a Los Angeles-based sports agent, told The Associated Press. He has attended seven straight Olympics and represents American and Canadian athletes for AGM Sports.

“For the average family right now to head to the Olympics, it’s going to be the most expensive in history.”

Low-end packages dip down to about $1,500 for one session at a less popular event. There’s also an old-fashioned way for residents of Japan to get scarce tickets: a so-called “second-chance” lottery that closed on Monday. Results will be announced next month, and another lottery for Japan residents will be held in the fall.

For now, those living outside Japan must go through Authorized Ticket Resellers, which are deluged with unprecedented demand. They also offer high-end packages and are allowed to tack on a 20% service charge to each ticket.

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A random search of well-known hotel booking sites by AP found prices for most 3-4-star hotels between $1,000-1,500 per night with few available. There have been complaints that many hotels are canceling previous reservations to secure the markup.

Even Japan’s famous capsule hotels — or sleep pods — will cost more to crawl inside with prices up three or four times on booking sites.

 

Could Paralympics be the winner in Tokyo?

Tokyo’s Paralympics could be the big winner with Olympic tickets hard to find and costly.

Paralympic tickets should be more available, and less expensive. Tickets for the opening and closing ceremony are about half the price of Olympic tickets. Some event tickets sell for as low as 900 yen, or about $8.

The lottery for Paralympic tickets for Japan residents opened on Thursday with 2.3 million available. The lottery closes on September 9. A second lottery will be held early next year.

 

- Tokyo 2020 more popular -

Australia-based Kingdom Sports Group, an official reseller that deals primarily with Asia and Africa, said on a social media site that Tokyo is “30 times more popular” than London was in 2012. London is often seen as the benchmark for Olympic interest.

Ken Hanscom, a ticketing expert who runs Los Angeles-based TicketManager, told AP “this is the biggest (Olympic) demand ever — by far.”

Tokyo organisers say there are 7.8 million tickets for the Olympics. They estimate between 70-80% will go to the general public in Japan. The remaining tickets are sold abroad, or go to sponsors, national Olympic committees, and sports federations.

Organizers hope to earn $800 million from ticket sales, a big chuck of income for the privately funded, $5.6 billion operating budget.