With only 200 days until the opening of the Rio Paralympics, Brazil still has much work to do if it is to claim the right to hear the famous phrase that closes the event: “they were the greatest Games of all time”.
Just 10% of 3.3 million tickets have been sold far.
The goal of the organizing committee is the break the record set in London 2012, when nearly 2.2 million tickets were sold, virtually ensuring that all the arenas were at capacity for the Games.
The reasons for the slow pace of business reveal a breach between the Brazilian Paralympic Committee (CPB) and the Rio 2016 organizers.
The CPB has complained that the Paralympic Games, which begin on September 7, after the Olympics, have not been sufficiently promoted – a job which is the responsibility of the organizing committee.
However, the Rio 2016 organizers, while recognizing that sales have been “worse than predicted”, attribute this to the Brazilian habit of only making decisions at the last minute.
The committee expects to see demand increase as the event draws closer, just as occurred at the Paralympics in both London and Beijing.
Most of the tickets for nearly 300 events cost up to R$30 (US $7.45). The cheapest tickets are just R$10 (US $2.48), a third of the value of the cheapest tickets for the Olympics.
One of the strategies considered by the CPB to raise interest in the Paralympics is to promote it as a family event – a strategy employed to great effect by the London organizers.
However, the difference is that in London this strategy was put into practice two years before the event, with visits to schools, associations and institutions promoting the Paralympic values, like overcoming one’s limits, understanding diversity and inclusion.
Story – Jairo Marques and Paulo Roberto Conde