Rio Olympics tickets may prove elusive for Jamaicans

By Howard Walker Observer senior reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

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Jamaicans wishing to watch the 2016 Rio Olympic athletics events live from a vantage point at track side, received worrying news that the prime tickets for Category A sections have been gobbled up.


At a press briefing yesterday at the offices of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), Cartan Global, the exclusive Authorised Ticket Reseller (ATR) for 35 countries covering the Caribbean, Latin and South America gave explanations through it representaives on the status of the sales, plus requirement for tickets.


The Cartan team of Greg Harney, vice-president; Jay Price, managing director; and sales manager Rony Epelbuam made a stop in Jamaica.


The online sales phase began in October 2015 and tickets are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis, and


Epelbuam revealed that the 40,000 tickets that were allocated to them have been sold out.


"We are going to the Rio 2016 Committee to try get us more tickets. All the Jamaicans that want tickets for prime events that are already sold out, they can contact us and we can email them an additional ticket request," Epelbuam told the Jamaica Observer.


He continued: "It's the Rio Committee who will say ok they approved tickets for this, but we are going to try to get them to assign more tickets for Jamaica, especially for track and field."


Epelbuam said most of the athletics finals will be run in the evening session and most of those tickets are already gone.


Olive McNaughton, of SportTravel by Trafalgar, who organises trips to the major championships for Jamaicans, was surprised by the revelation.


"This is the Olympics, and as expected, the allocation for Jamaica we expect to go quickly. But Sports Travel has some faithful supporters of brand Jamaica as we did in Beijing where we were seated together," said McNaughton.


"I recognised for the Olympics, it is going to be more difficult, but we hope that something can be worked out with Cartan that they can assist in facilitating brand Jamaica, that Jamaicans can be there to support our athletes," she said.


"They say that a lot of the allocations are already taken up, but we have several Jamaicans ready to go and we are looking forward to something working out," said McNaughton optimistically.


Mike Fennell, the president of the JOA, says over the years, Jamaicans attending these games as spectators have been growing for a very long time.


"I don't think any one of us can deny the fact that the interest is heightened considerably particularly since the amazing performances of our athletes in Beijing at the World Athletics Championships.


"So we have that interest and we at the JOA would like to ensure that the Jamaicans who would like to go and see the Games or tour Brazil, will have the best opportunity of doing so," said Fennell.


The Rio Olympic Games in Brazil begins on August 5 with athletics starting a week later on 12th. It will be the first time the prestigious Games will be held in South America and will feature 28 sports and 42 disciplines.


It will take place over 17 days and include approximately 10,500 athletes, representing 205 national Olympic committees. There will be 7.5 million tickets for approximately 700 sessions.


It will cost Jamaicans approximately $60,000 (US$562) for a Category A ticket to witness the blue ribbon 100m events close to the finish line.


Cartan Established in 1899, is one of the oldest and most respected companies in the travel industry. Its sport division, Cartan Global, is based in California and provides exclusive and official travel and ticketing services to both Summer/Winter Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup.






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