Rio de Janeiro, April 4 (IANS) The Brazilian government is highly concerned with low ticket sales ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, with only five months to go before the opening of the largest sporting event in the world, the country’s interim Minister of Sports, Ricardo Leyser has admitted.
In an interview with the daily, Folha de Sao Paulo on Sunday, Leyser announced that a task force within the ministry is fully dedicated to rolling out measures to make up this ticket gap. One action being suggested is to hand out tickets to schools, especially for the Paralympic Games, reports Xinhua.
“There is a perception that the Brazilian people have not yet awoken to the arrival of the Games. We are working hard to change this. We need to sound the alarm for people to remember this event and go to buy tickets,” said Leyser.
According to the latest sales figures provided by the Rio 2016 organizing committee, a little over 50 percent of tickets have been sold for the Olympic Games, while a worrying 10 percent have been sold for the Paralympic Games.
Leyser said that during the 2007 Pan American and Parapan American Games in Rio, tickets were already distributed for school children to enjoy.
Asked how the impeachment process faced by President Dilma Rousseff was affecting Olympic preparations, the minister said it did not change anything.
“The ministry is extremely focused on its daily activities. We must complete the work and we have no time to think about the impeachment. The ministry must continue to function,” concluded Leyser.