Organizing committee spokesman Masa Takaya said on Friday that 3.22 million tickets were sold to Japan residents in the first lottery. He said more than 90% of applicants bought the tickets that they were awarded. He said only the unsold tickets would be those offered in the next round.
He said another lottery will be held in the fall, but declined to say how many tickets would be available.
Tokyo organizers are trying to satisfy the Japanese public. But there simply aren't enough Olympic tickets to go around with demand soaring. Authorized Ticket Resellers — the Olympic agents contracted to sell tickets outside Japan — have also opened sales worldwide and are experiencing unprecedented demand and some delays in getting tickets.
Organizers say that 70% of the 7.8 million tickets that are listed as available will go to the Japan general public.
The rest are for sale outside Japan, or go to sponsors, national Olympic committees, sports federations, and dignitaries.
Tickets sales are projected to raise about $800 million for the organizing committee's operating budget of $5.6 billion. The largest source of income for the privately funded budget is a record-setting $3 billion paid by more than 60 local Japanese sponsors, all of whom will be looking for tickets.
The short supply is sure to drive scalping.
Japan passed a law last month that prohibits ticket scalping with a 1 million yen ($9,100) fine and a one-year jail term — or both.
However, the law has large loopholes and does not apply to tickets distributed for free or given away as gifts, or tickets without a purchaser's name. This applies to many tickets coming from the International Olympic Committee, the 206 national Olympic committees, or major sponsors.
The IOC was embarrassed three years ago in Rio de Janeiro when IOC member Patrick Hickey was arrested on charges of ticket scalping. He has denied any wrongdoing.
"Unfortunately, the Japanese law is flawed in its attempt to artificially control the ticket marketplace, and fans will likely be negatively impacted," Jill Krimmel, general manager for sports for StubHub, told The Associated Press. "Instead, StubHub believes that a safe, transparent, and competitive marketplace best serves fans and the games."
More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports
Stephen Wade on Twitter: http://twitter.com/StephenWadeAP