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If Olympics 2020 are postponed, then people who bought tickets might not get refunds

Sporting News logo Sporting News 3/19/2020 Dan Bernstein
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With the 2020 Olympics in Japan increasingly doubtful due to fears over the continued global spread of the coronavirus, hundreds of thousands of fans are learning the money they spent on tickets for the summer showcase might be a lost cause.

Ticket refunds are considered unlikely, according to Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun, with terms and conditions giving organizers an avenue to keep sales revenue. There is a fine-print stipulation that a "public health emergency" does not leave the organizing committee liable for covering more than 5 million purchased tickets. This also applies to the 2020 Paralympics, which have reportedly sold 1.7 million tickets.

In all, ticket revenues have reached about 90 billion yen, or $83 million.

"Tokyo 2020 shall not be liable for any failure to perform any obligation under the Terms and Conditions to the extent that the failure is caused by a Force Majeure," reads a section in the terms and conditions for the Games.

MORE: Trump suggests delaying Olympics for a year

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has halted most sports worldwide, and in the U.S., no major pro league is expected to resume until at least mid-June. The Olympics are scheduled to begin July 24, meaning there is limited time for the pandemic to be controlled before the event needs to be postponed or called off entirely.

So far, organizers have said they fully expect the Games to start on time.

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