The one and only authorized ticket office in Sochi was busy on a recent afternoon, with three dozen people lining up at what once was a waiting room at the city’s railway station. However, many complained that all the cheap tickets were already gone.
“Prices leave much to be desired, but what can you can do?” said Sochi resident Yana Ivolovskaya, who bought two tickets for bobsled for 2,000 rubles. “We’re not going to get another Olympics in Sochi, so I thought I should go.”
Fans outside Russia buy tickets from authorized dealers appointed by their national Olympic committees.
Attracting foreign visitors has been a challenge amid all the headlines about Russia’s law banning gay “propaganda,” human rights issues and — particularly — the risk of terrorism.
Back-to-back suicide bombings killed 34 people last month in Volgograd, about 640km from Sochi. Yesterday, an Islamic militant group in Russia’s North Caucasus claimed responsibility for the bombings and posted a video threatening to strike the Sochi Games.