Rio launches 1st physical ticket stores for Olympics

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) The first physical ticket offices for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro have opened.

Tickets were already available online but they are now for sale at two offices in shopping malls in wealthy areas of the city.

In the next few weeks, organizers plan to open more than 30 ticketing centers in Rio, Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Brasilia and Manaus, where matches of Olympic soccer will take place. The Rio Olympics run from August 5-21.

According to ticketing director Donovan Ferreti, there are still 1.8 million tickets available. Prices start at about 40 reais ($12), though customers purchasing tickets on Monday said prices for some final events reached into the hundreds of dollars.

Ferreti said 4.2 million tickets have been sold so far, about 70 percent of the total tickets.

''We are expecting a large mass of people in the ticket office. It is the profile of Brazilians to buy last minute,'' Ferreti said. ''But it is important to say that the price on the website is exactly the same as in the ticket office, you don't need to wait to come to the ticket office to purchase your ticket.''

Rodrigo Pingret, a Brazilian buying tickets, said the ticket offices are a better choice for fans.

''I tried online but it is a bit confusing,'' Pingret said. ''People here give you great tips, tell you if your options are good.''

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