Updated 07:44 PM EST, Wed, Dec 02, 2020

2016 Rio Olympics Ticket Sales Hit an All-Time Low

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Organizers for the 2016 Rio Olympics recently revealed that ticket sales for the two-week event have been mediocre.

This year's gathering of the world's best athletes will take place from August 5 to 21. The global event, which occurs every four years, is widely considered to be a huge draw. But now, organizers doubt if they can attract enough spectators to fill stadiums and grandstands.

Mario Andrada, a spokesperson for the organizing committee, told SF Gate that the best seats are selling like hotcakes. However, large portions of upper deck seats in numerous arenas have yet to be filled. In total, only half of the 4.5 million Olympic tickets have been sold.

Brazil's current economic recession may have a hand in the disappointing figures. The International Monetary Fund believes the country's economy will shrink for the second year in a row. As per CNN, the country's unemployment and inflation rates have risen, while foreign investments continue to dwindle.

The discrepancy has weakened the Brazilian real by as low as 35 percent. The IMF predicts the country's economy will plummet an extra 3.5 percent in 2016. It can be remembered that the largest economy in Latin America shrank 3.8 percent in 2015, the lowest it has ever been since the 1930s.

In order to adapt to the economic crisis, Olympics and Paralympics organisers have reduced the overall budget from $1.85 billion to just $500 million. The number of volunteers has also been downsized from 70,000 to 50,000, while the fleet of escort vehicles has been chopped from 5,000 to 4,000.

Yahoo Sports noted that the construction of permanent facilities, which will house the International Olympic Committee and other administrative bodies, has been scrapped. Furthermore, the extra seating area for the Rodrigo Freitas lagoon, where rowing competitions will be held, will no longer be budgeted.

The situation is especially alarming for the Paralympic Games, since only 300,000 tickets have been sold out of three million. That means only 10 percent of the total number of seats have been booked. Andrada claimed that the idea of Paralympic sport is still new to Brazilians.

"We are a bit worried with the Paralympics. We have to educate, publicize," said Andrada. "In the Paralympics we still need to show that Brazil will be fighting for the top five on the medal chart. For some here, Paralympic sport is still shocking."

The 2016 Summer Paralympic Games will be held from September 7 to 18. Approximately 35 countries will be participating. The pool of nations includes South Korea, Germany, Nicaragua, Lithuania and the United States.   

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