Paralympic Games preparations have been hit by low ticket sales and organizers revealed that could create a deficit in their budget.

Rio 2016 organizers have suggested they are facing a huge financial shortfall for the Paralympic Games after disappointing ticket sales.

Only 12 percent of 2.3 million tickets available have been purchased so far, a worryingly low figure with the opening ceremony only 20 days away.

Initial estimations had suggested more than 20 percent had been sold, but communications director Mario Andrada confirmed the lower figure at a media conference on Wednesday. Andrada hopes interest will slowly start to increase after encouraging sales in recent days, but he acknowledges the organizers may need more government funding to help run the Games.

“It [the level of government funding] depends on how we move forward in terms of ticket sales, which we are now much more optimistic than we were before,” Andrada said at a news conference Thursday. “Yesterday [Wednesday] we sold more than 9,000 tickets, which for the Paralympics is a change. Depending on the amount of tickets and sponsorship that we sell, the amount of money that we will get from the government will vary.

“If the decision was to be taken today, we would need around 200 million reais ($61 million) to fulfil the obligations at the level of service that we have agreed with the International Paralympic Committee.”
When quizzed over the low uptake, Andrada blamed the recalculation on purchasing rules which prohibit the Rio mayor from buying any tickets — which had initially been the plan.

“The sales of tickets and the sponsorship has been below our expectations,” he added. “From 2.3 million, we sold roughly 300,000, so it’s around 12 percent. I say roughly because the same thing happens with the Olympics.

“As we all know, the mayor had committed to buy a number of tickets and that purchase was included in the data that we provided in the meeting in Lausanne. However, electoral justice prevented him from buying those tickets, so the tickets were returned to the pot and the number [of sold tickets] has decreased.”