The period for online applications for tickets to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games closed at midday on Wednesday, after organizers allowed applicants an extra 12 hours to apply for seats at the next summer Olympics. The first round of the Olympic ticketing process for Japanese residents began on May 9 and was originally due to close at midday on Tuesday, Xinhua news reports. However, the deadline was postponed to Wednesday to offset problems caused by heavy traffic to the official ticketing website. The organizing committee said that as of midday on Wednesday, the number of “Tokyo 2020 ID” registrations needed to buy tickets had surpassed 7.5 million, adding that the ticketing website was accessed more than 24 million times during the application period.
The number of ID registrations exceeded the amount from both the 2012 London and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games at the same stage of the sales process, the committee added. “We are delighted to have concluded this highly important milestone successfully,” Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya was quoted as saying by Kyodo News Agency. “The high number of applications shows there is a great passion nationwide for the Tokyo 2020 Games and sport in general. Millions of tickets are available at affordable prices and there will be other opportunities to acquire them,” the spokesman said.
A total of around 7.8 million tickets will eventually be issued. The results of a ticket lottery are scheduled to be announced on June 20, and winners need to have purchased their tickets by July 2. The organizing committee has not disclosed how many people applied for the lottery, or how great their chances of winning tickets might be. Unsuccessful applicants still have an opportunity to buy tickets during a first-come, first-served sales phase starting this fall. The final sales phase will start next spring and will offer first-come, first-served opportunities to both Japanese residents and foreign nationals.