New Delhi, Jan 22: The sale of tickets in India for the Rio Olympics to be held later this year was launched today after a sports and experiential travel company was entrusted with the job by Indian Olympic Association.
'Fanatic Sports' got the nod from the International Olympic Committee as the official Indian Authorised Ticket Reseller for Rio 2016. As the exclusive ATR for Rio Olympics, all Indians travelling to Brazil for the Games will have to purchase tickets from 'Fanatic Sports'.
The IOA floated a tender on its website and 'Fanatic Sports' won after a bidding contest. "Earlier, we had a different process, selling the tickets and doing the hospitality part (of the ticket holders). Actually, we were not geared up to do that. We have enough on our plate. So, we decided to do it differently this time," IOA President N Ramachandran told a press conference.
"We put up the tender on our website and there was bidding and Fanatic Sports won it," he said.
Asked if the Indian athletes taking part in the Olympics will get tickets for their family members on preferential basis, Ramachandran said that whoever makes request to the IOA for tickets will be forwarded to 'Fanatic Sports'.
"We have to give some tickets to the NSFs and state Olympic Associations. We have got some demands from the public also. We will forward all these to Fanatic Sports," he said.
One of the founders of 'Fanatic Sports', Raghav Gupta said that under the rules framed by 2016 Rio Olympic Games Organising Committee, every athlete will get two tickets for their families and relatives.
"For the first time in the country, fans can buy Olympic tickets online. We have developed a website for this. The minimum cost of a ticket is Rs 5,000 for a single session and there will be 1,600 sessions in 42 disciplines. We have got tickets for almost all the sessions and the window for buying tickets is open till June," Gupta said.
Gupta denied that there was a problem in sale of tickets in India as reported in some sections of the media and availability of tickets was actually 30 per cent more than London Olympics.
"There was no problem about the availability of tickets in India. Rather, the availability is 30% more than that in London."
Brazilian Ambassador to India, Tovar da Silva Nunes said that there was no delay in the construction of Rio Games infrastructure and all the facilities will be ready before deadline.
"There is no delay in infrastructure building except for cycling velodrome which also is 90 percent complete. All the facilities will be on time before deadline. I feel Rio Games has the potential to be the best ever."
Star wrestler Sushil Kumar, who was also present on the occasion, urged the Indian fans to buy tickets in large numbers to support the country's athletes in Rio.
"In Beijing 2008, there were few Indians. But there were a lot of Indian supporters in London where many Indians live. In London, I thought I was playing at home in India and that makes a difference in our performance. I urge Indians fans to buy tickets for Rio Olympics in large numbers," said Sushil, who won a bronze in Beijing and silver in London.
Ramachandran was asked about the sorry sate of Indian boxing and he replied that "the matter is sub-judice as a faction (of Boxing India) has filed a case in the court". "We have to wait for the High Court's decision."