For major sporting events that will draw in competition from around the world, or at least the neighboring nations like the region-based Southeast Asian Games, it is expected that access to the games involved will require spectators to purchase tickets for seating in the stadium or arena. This is particularly important particularly for the 2019 SEA Games being hosted by the Philippines, as many of the facilities are either refurbished or newly built for the occasion. Nevertheless, there are still quarters of would-be watchers who are interested in getting game tickets without having to pay for them. After a few days of dithering on the issue, a reply was given.
According to ABS-CBN News, there will be tickets to the 30th Southeast Asian Games that will be distributed for free, with these tickets being taken from batches that have yet to be sold. This news was shared on Friday, November 29, by House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano. “Upon instructions of the President, to make sure that all Filipinos who want to watch live and can be physically present at the Games, the organizing committee has decided that all games that have not sold out their tickets will be opened, for free,” said Cayetano, who is also head of the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC).
Going into specifics, Speaker Cayetano explained that certain event sports such as basketball, football/soccer, and volleyball, will be strictly exempted from the new free tickets policy. Only sports that still have unsold tickets will be considered for having batches being given free. Thankfully, a handful of events are non-ticketed – golf, squash and lawn ball – allowing for anyone interested to watch them at their respective venues. Meanwhile SEA Games spectators who have already bought tickets for events now made free, will receive no refunds but be given free treats upon attendance.
As late as Thursday, November 28, President Rodrigo Duterte had not given any opinion on whether or not Southeast Asian Games tickets are to be given free for those interested audience that could not afford them. He did express his desire to have as many Filipinos watch the games in support of the nation’s participating athletes. Free tickets will be distributed for free at certain state universities according to Speaker Cayetano. Others will go to LGUs of the various locations where SEA Games events will be held. The closing ceremony on December 11 will have 10,000 free tickets made available first-come, first-served on SM Tickets.
Normal ticket rates for the SEA Games are priced depending on the popularity of the event, with entrance rates for some at P50 while others can go up to P900. The opening ceremony tomorrow has the most expensive rates, ranging from P1,000 for general admission to P12,000 for “Patron A.”
Image courtesy of ABS-CBN News