Tokyo Games postponement presents quandary for ticket buyers
TOKYO (AP) — When it comes to Olympic tickets, the Latin expression “caveat emptor” often applies: “Let the buyer beware.”
The unprecedented postponement of the Tokyo Olympics has left buyers of millions of tickets in a quandary. Will the games happen next year? Will non-Japanese fans be allowed? Will there be any fans? How will health and travel restrictions be applied? Will there be a vaccine and quarantines?
Tokyo organizers and the International Olympic Committee say the games will open on July 23, 2021, and the competition schedule remains virtually unchanged. But they've offered few details, and specifics aren’t expected until the fall and into next year as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.
“We have some people saying there is no way Tokyo 2020 is happening, and other people are saying it’s absolutely going to happen and ‘I’m going to be there for every moment of it,’" said Ken Hanscom, the chief operating officer of the Los Angeles-based firm TicketManager.
Hanscom isn't connected with Olympic ticketing, but his company manages big-event tickets for corporate clients. He's also organized a popular Facebook page that's a go-to for Tokyo ticket information.
Olympic ticketing is always confusing, a maze of interests including official ticket resellers, national Olympic committees and sports federations, sponsors and advertisers, and local organizers and the IOC.
Invariably at every Olympics, an event is listed as “sold out" although the venue is half-filled because some VIPs or hospitality guests haven't shown up.
Four years ago in Rio de Janeiro, IOC member Patrick Hickey of Ireland was arrested for scalping tickets. He has maintained his innocence. Japan has passed an anti-scalping law specifically because of the games, though it has...