Organisers of the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Beijing have revealed that around 150,000 fans are set to be invited to the event in the Chinese capital.
The Games, which will take place amid the continued backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, officially begin tomorrow (Friday) and will run until February 20.
The Games’ organising committee confirmed last month that tickets for the event would be distributed as part of an “adapted programme” that will invite groups of spectators to attend.
At the time, it was not specified how many tickets would be made available. Earlier this week, Christophe Dubi, the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Olympic Games executive director, said that he was hopeful events could operate at a minimum of 30% capacity.
Ahead of the start of the Games tomorrow, organisers confirmed today that about 150,000 locals are set to be invited to events in two of the three venue clusters. No fans will be attending alpine skiing and sliding sports events in Yanqing, but venues in Beijing and Zhangjiakou will welcome spectators.
In a presentation to the IOC, Beijing 2022 organisers said that spectators will include “international friends residing in China’s mainland, members of diplomatic missions and marketing partners”.
Tickets are also set to be given to school children, local residents and winter sports enthusiasts, with organisers planning for a spectator base “as extensive and diversified as possible”.
The IOC had previously announced that tickets for the Games would be placed on general sale exclusively to spectators residing in China’s mainland who meet the requirements of COVID-19 countermeasures. This plan was later scrapped due to ongoing restrictions posed by the pandemic.
Last year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games went ahead in Tokyo without any fans in attendance.