Monday December 4, 2023

Olympic Fans ‘In the Dark’ Waiting for Refunds

  • Japan decided to block foreign spectators from attending the Tokyo Olympics.
  • The decision has caused a frenzy of ticket refund requests.
IOC/Design: Alex Brooks
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Earlier this month, Japan made the call to block international spectators from attending the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics due to the pandemic. The decision has led to a flood of refund requests — more than $10,000 in some cases — from fans who purchased tickets years ago. 

“At this point, they’ve held our funds for two years already, and I’m concerned it’s going to take months more to get them back again,” Olympics fan Monica Treese told The New York Times. “Everyone is still in the dark. We’re just waiting.”

The right to sell tickets to foreign fans is granted by local Olympic organizers, who contract with authorized resellers to distribute the tickets. The base cost goes to the organizers, while resellers are allowed to charge handling and processing fees that go directly to them. 

Approximately 600,000 tickets were sold to international fans, and around 68,000 American fans were expected at the games.

CoSport, the exclusive rights holder for Olympic ticket sales in the U.S., will not refund a 20% handling fee for American fans, per Yahoo.

“I find it amazing that they intend to simply keep the 20% surcharge which they assessed on tickets, which we will never be permitted to use. As a point of reference, this amounts to nearly $2,000 for our family,” said a fan in a message to The New York Times. 

However, Team GB Live, the official reseller in the U.K., will offer full refunds.

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