Authorized ticket sellers (ATRs), the official representatives appointed to sell packages to overseas fans for the Olympics and Paralympics, have finally appealed to Tokyo 2020 without banning international audiences from this year’s Games amid fears it could turn some of them out of business.
The decision not to allow observers from outside Japan is widely expected to be confirmed at a meeting in Tokyo tomorrow.
Tokyo 2020 is to meet online with officials from the Governments of Japan and Tokyo, as well as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IOC).
It has been widely reported that the Japanese Government has already decided that it is not possible to welcome spectators from abroad, with public concern about the spread of the coronation and the emergence of more contagious changes in many countries. .
IOC President Thomas Bach, IPC President Andrew Parsons, Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and Japanese Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa are expected to attend a meeting tomorrow.
“When we think about the need to prepare for it [overseas spectators] and also of people who have been preparing public transport and places to stay, a quick decision is expected from us, ”Hashimoto said at a news conference in the Japanese capital today.
“Immigration [policy] it’s up to the Government, but ultimately it will be set up based on a discussion between the five parties and the agreement. ”
But ATRs, appointed by National Olympic Committees (NOCs) to sell tickets in their countries, from around the world have written to Hashimoto and Bach.
They have appealed not to exclude international spectators from the Olympics, which take place between 23 July and 8 August, with the Paralympics scheduled to continue between 24 August and 5 Sultan.
The Jet Set Sports (JSS) based in New Jersey, the ATR for eight countries, including Australia and the United States, are among the companies that have written to Hashimoto.
“That decision is not necessary given the progress, and further improvements were expected in the coming months, in the ability to attend sporting events and other events with the public despite the epidemic. worldwide, ”said JSS Sead and Alan co – executives said Dizdarevic wrote to Hashimoto and John Coates, chairman of the IOC Coordinating Commission for Tokyo 2020.
“Your reported decision will remove Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics from spectators from all over the world who want to personally support their national teams.
“Your decision will appear unnecessary [Tokyo 2020], the IOC, National Olympic Committees and Authorized Ticket Dealers such as JSS in relation to potential claims and liability for over one million overseas licensees, as well as the creation of disputes between Olympic partners and carriers. -security.
“We urge you to reconsider this decision and the available and accepted steps necessary to allow overseas audiences to attend at 2021 Olympic Games and Paralympics (sic) Tokyo. ”
About 4.5 million tickets have been sold to Japanese residents, and another million are estimated to have been sold abroad.
Prior to its cancellation, a year ago, Tokyo 2020 had planned to sell 7.8 million tickets.
Toshirō Mutō, chief executive of Tokyo 2020, has promised that ticket holders from abroad will receive a refund.
The biggest concern for many ATRs, however, is that most sell Olympic tickets as part of a package, including travel and hotel accommodation.
Currently, Tokyo 2020 claims that only 30 percent of hotel room nights can be released for free – possibly exposing some ATRs to millions of dollars in compensation claims that they fear they could break it.
Some hotels already indicate that they do not intend to make a refund, but others offer just a partial refund.
One RIA warned that a ban on international observers “will create more legitimacy within Japan and elsewhere in the next 12 months than Japan has expected in the last 12 years” .
“While ticket issues are largely discussed, the removal of packages is our biggest challenge in ensuring a fair and fair refund, while getting compensation for the work and damage we have caused, “Yaav Bruck, President of ISSTA Sports, the ATR for Israel and Spain, wrote to Bach.
Greek IOC Spyros Capralos last week urged Tokyo 2020 to issue clear policies on the return of tickets if foreign spectators are prevented from attending the Olympics.
Capralos told the 137th IOC Session, which was held online, that organizers needed to help people who have bought tickets and accommodation for the Games, stressing the need for a clear policy for re- compensation.
“We need to find ways to deal with people who have already booked and paid for plane tickets, Games tickets and accommodations, who may no longer be able to travel to Tokyo,” Capralos said.
“Not to forget, many of these people are the parents and relatives of the athletes, who have a passion and enthusiasm for watching the Olympics.”
But former swimmer Bruck, who represented Israel at three Olympic Games, said Tokyo 2020 refuses to hold talks with the ATRs to find a solution.
“Long [Tokyo 2020] playing a ‘business as usual’ game, sending out ATR and NOC invoices for payment and telling us what to do he hey refuses our requests to talk again , ”He wrote to Bach.
“We were hit twice, first by the delays and the hard work involved, and now by the performances, while the messages that have been coming out have not. so far a lot to help.
“The Authorized Ticket Returns are the IOC’s ‘front’ messengers for the past year in defense of the 2020 Tokyo Games and the Olympic movement under difficult working and financial conditions.
“But our voices are not being heard, our knowledge is not being used, and our concerns are being taken seriously, putting everyone involved at great risk.”
Those who could deter international spectators include representatives from the Olympic supporters, although Coates has previously indicated that there may be exceptions for some groups.
“We’re looking at the other impact of accommodation, looking at the impact on national Olympic committees that have sponsors who may have bought tickets,” Coates said.
“Same with International Alliances.”
Tokyo 2020 projected revenue of $ 800 million (£ 575 million / € 670 million)) from ticket sales, the third largest revenue.
Any deficit must be made up by the Japanese Government.
But they are not yet likely to persuade the Government to change its mind about allowing international spectators to attend the Games, especially as Japan still has a strong suspicion about being holding the Olympics and exposing the country to the increased risk of COVID-19.
To date there have been 452,000 cases in Japan, with 8,750 deaths.
The RIAs, however, urge the Government to delay any decision on whether to admit an international audience.
“The lengthy process involved in bringing back ticket sales is likely to expose JSS and other Authorized Ticket Vendors to potential claims, substantial legal fees and other costs. related to defending against claims as the reimbursement process progresses, ”JSS Sead and Alan Dizdarevic co – executives said.
“All of these results can be avoided by following the scientific protocols that have been developed, including access to and use of vaccines, and allowing overseas spectators to attend the Games. “