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Tokyo Olympics to hold lottery among ticket holders to reduce spectators

The lottery is for current ticket holders only and will cover 97 sporting events, plus the Opening and Closing ceremonies

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen

[Update, July 5] The announcement of the lottery results has been postponed to Saturday July 10. 


[June 23] The government has announced that a maximum of 10,000 spectators will be allowed at Olympic events this summer, on the condition that the number of attendees does not exceed 50 percent of venue capacity. Because the number of available tickets will be reduced by roughly 910,000 to 2.72 million, Kyodo News reports that the government will be holding a lottery to determine which existing ticket holders will be able to attend. 

The lottery will apply to some sporting events as well as the Opening and Closing ceremonies. According to NHK, the lottery covers 97 spectator events, including sessions for the following sports:

  • baseball/softball 
  • golf 
  • track and field 
  • football 
  • modern pentathlon
  • rugby 
  • surfing 

Note that baseball and softball are treated as a single sport at the Tokyo Olympics, where baseball will only feature men's teams and softball will only feature women’s teams. You can see the full list of affected events here. If you currently have a ticket for one of these events, keep an eye on the official Tokyo 2020 ticketing website – the lottery results will be announced on July 6.

If you don’t get lucky in this second lottery, applications for refunds will be open from July 6 to July 15. A decision has yet to be made on the spectator capacity at the Paralympic Games, which will begin a month after the Olympic Games on August 24. 

For more information, see the official Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games site.

This article was originally published on June 23 and updated on July 5. 

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