By Georgia Grimond, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The interim sports minister for Brazil, Ricardo Leyser, has launched a task force that will aim to secure the purchase of more tickets to the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games, which begin in August. With just four months to go until the events, the government has expressed concern over disappointing ticket sales.

interim minister of sports, Brazil, Ricardo Leyser, Olympics, Rio 2016, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
The interim minister of sports for Brazil, Ricardo Leyser, inaugurating an arena in Deodoro last month, photo by Tânia Rêgo/Agência Brasil.

Leyser is the successor to George Hilton who resigned his position on March 30th amid political maneuvering in Brazil’s scandal-ridden government. Leyser has been in the sports ministry since 2003 and has been heavily involved in the Olympic planning. He will be picking a new team to support him in the run up to the Games.

“There is a perception that the Brazilian people have not yet awoken to the arrival of the Games,” he told Folha de Sao Paulo. “We are working hard to change this. We need to sound the alarm for people to remember this event and go to buy tickets.”

So far only half of Olympics tickets have been sold and just twenty percent of Paralympic tickets. The Brazilian culture of not committing to an event until the last minute has been blamed for the low take-up, as well as a difficult political and economic situation in the country and the Zika virus health scare.

One of the reasons the 2012 London Olympics was deemed so successful was the large number of tickets sold and the many spectators at each competition, particularly at the disabled sports events. There is a concern that some of the Brazilian public do not have much interest in, or knowledge of, the Paralympic Games.

In response, Paralympic organizers are rolling out educational and marketing materials to promote disabled sports. Tickets to Paralympic events may also be handed out to schoolchildren as they were when Rio hosted the Pan American and Parapan American Games in 2007.

For information on how to buy tickets to the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, go here. Spectators from abroad will have to contact their Authorized Ticket Reseller for their country.


  1. If ticket sales are so poor, the Brazilian authorities should make it easier for spectators from abroad to buy tickets. At the moment, with overseas authorised ticket sellers, if you want to buy opening ceremony tickets and tickets for just one or two events, all you can buy are very expensive packages of tickets with events that you don’t want to see and these are at very expensive prices like 1000’s of USD. NO CHANCE to buy individual opening ceremony tickets and ones for even just heats like in swimming, which will surely have hundreds of empty spaces as a lot less people go to the heats.
    If they want overseas spectators to spend a lot of money on travel and accommodation ( that is also scarse and hugely over-priced by the way!) to ignore issues like political instability, Zika and other viruses, and security, make it easier for overseas visitors to buy the tickets they actually want and are happy to pay genuine face value prices for.

  2. I COMPLETELY agree with the above response!! We’re trying to buy Opening Ceremony tickets but are not able to at all online. We almost didn’t have accommodations in place due to overpricing at the end of last year!

  3. I am living in Rio and am struggling to purchase locally as well. I have to have a Brazil issued Visa card to purchase on line….cannot open a bank account as I do not have a utility account in my name..result= no tickets purchased.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

one + nine =