Speed Reads

tokyo games

Canceled Olympics tickets may end up costing foreign spectators big

Foreign spectators will get money back on their canceled Tokyo Olympics tickets, but whether they'll be reimbursed for the full price they paid remains to be seen, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The Tokyo organizers remain in a standoff with authorized third-party ticket resellers over who should bear the costs of service fees — extra charges on ticket purchases to account for things like currency conversion and credit card fees — paid by foreign spectators who are now barred from attending the Games because of COVID-19 restrictions. The resellers want the organizers to repay the full amount, while the organizers say they'll only refund the face value of the tickets.

Alan Dizdarevic, the CEO of U.S. reseller CoSport, which added a 20 percent service fee, said "there's nothing to give back of the 20 percent, because it's all been spent. There was no profit."

So, as things stand, the purchasers will have to take a hit. For example, an American who spent $1,514 for a pair of tickets to swimming medal events, the face value-only refund was $1,397, a loss of $117, the Journal reports. On its own, that doesn't seem unreasonable for an individual who could afford those tickets in the first place, but when considering that 68,000 Americans (and around 600,000 foreigners total) purchased tickets to the Games, the aggregate consumer loss would be quite high if the hosts and the reseller can't come to some form of agreement.

It's also unclear what will happen to folks who booked hotels. So far, there's no indication Japanese officials are planning to intervene and insist hotels issue refunds for canceled stays, the Journal reports. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.