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Free Tickets for School Kids an Olympic Organizers' Dream
January 18, 2015

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The organizers of the 2016 Olympics and the government of the host city, Rio de Janeiro, are working on a plan to give free tickets to Olympics events to local schoolchildren.

Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes a few months ago proposed that the city buy 1.2 million of the total number of 7.5 million tickets and then hand them out to schools. Event organizers, however, say that they will not give any tickets away. That leaves the Rio city government to cover the bill, which officials estimate could be $10 million or more.

The least expensive discount, accounting for a student or senior discount, will cost $8, Olympics organizers say.

The proposal was, in part, a response to a concern voiced about the 2014 Soccer World Cup, which also took place in Rio. One criticism of that event was that event tickets were too high for poor people to afford. This is not a new criticism, of course. But the Rio case is unique in the sense that two major world sporting events will be taking place in the same city within two years of each other.

Paes also said that organizers were working on an arrangement that would allow ticket purchasers to buy in installments, even for the lowest-priced tickets.

The country as a whole spent $15 billion on the 2014 World Cup. Construction continues for the 2016 Olympics, and no firm spending figures are available.


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