Tickets: How to Purchase Tickets for the Olympic Winter Games — Ultimate Guide to PyeongChang 2018

Ken Hanscom
Jan 4, 2018 · 6 min read

The most important planning step in your Winter Olympics experience will be deciding which of the momentous events you want to attend and will be able to attend based on time, location and ticket availability. Your event itinerary is actually the centerpiece of your trip and after it is completed, you can start to build out the specifics of your flights, hotels, tourist attractions, and transportation once you are on the ground in South Korea. Tip #1: It’s easy to become overwhelmed so be sure to review, bookmark and print the official event schedule published by the PyeongChang 2018 Organizing Committee: https://www.pyeongchang2018.com/en/schedule

Getting tickets for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games is the most important part of planning you trip to South Korea.

After you come up with your “wish list” of must-see events, the next step is finding and buying tickets. This is usually the most challenging aspect of any Olympic Games, especially if you are working on a strict budget which many fans are. However, with lower sales for PyeongChang 2018 tickets there are more tickets available for this Olympics cycle than ever which is great news for fans.

(Excerpted from Ken Hanscom’s, Ultimate Guide to PyeongChang 2018 which you can access here: http://bit.ly/2Dai8Qg)

You have two options for purchasing tickets, either through an Authorized Ticket Reseller or through the Olympic Organizers. Note: The two sites operated by Olympic organizers have been open and closed multiple times to International Fans. The two sites: Primary ticketing (http://tickets.pyeongchang2018.com) and Fan-to-Fan resale (https://tickets.pyeongchang2018.com/ReSale) are currently open for international fans to purchase. Tip #2: Purchasing from the Organizers is always cheaper than through an authorized reseller and there are more ticketing options.

Purchasing through an Authorized Ticket Reseller:
How to purchase tickets using your country’s Authorized Ticket Reseller, also known as an ATR. The ATR has contracted with your national Olympic team’s organizing committee (NOC) to provide tickets to the residents of their country. For example, the United States Olympic Committee has contracted with Cosport to sell tickets for several countries including the US and UK, and with ATPI in Canada.

There are pros & cons for buying tickets through ATRs. Let’s start with the pros:
• You can purchase tickets immediately if they are still available and not sold out with the reseller. Approximately 60% of events still have inventory.
• You have the convenience of choosing hotel, hospitality, and ticket packages at the same time making your planning simplified rather than doing it all yourself a la carte.
• ATRs often times have hotel availability that you will not see anywhere else because they made deals as far as 10 years in advance securing the best hotels near the Olympic venues.
• Tickets are provided by and authorized by PyeongChang 2018 so you know you are getting valid and trusted tickets from the source.

Here are the drawbacks to consider before purchasing from an ATR:
• Your tickets will be more expensive than face value, and often times more than 80% over face value in the US. This is when you consider the exchange rate that costs you 10%, ATRs fees up to 20%, and shipping charges that can exceed the cost of your ticket.
• You do not have the option to use print-at-home or mobile ticketing, and are stuck with paper tickets that if lost are impossible to replace on short notice.
• You may be able to re-sell or transfer your physical tickets through person-to-person selling or sell on sites like Stubhub if you cannot use them, but you will be unable to use the PyeongChang 2018 Fan-to-Fan site which will make them more difficult to sell.

Purchasing directly from organizers:

In addition to buying now online while the site is open, keep in mind you will be able to use both sites and ticket outlets once you arrive in South Korea for the Olympic Games, and you should plan to do so upon arrival. There are over 25 outlets including Seoul and Gangneung City Halls, 20 train stations, Incheon and Gimpo airports, and around the Olympic venues. Here is the full list: https://tickets.pyeongchang2018.com/service

Ticket Outlets in South Korea are one of 3 ways to purchase your Olympics tickets once you arrive.

The PyeongChang 2018 operates two sites, a primary ticketing site for directly purchasing (Tickets.PyeongChang2018.com) and a resale site (Fan-to-Fan) where fans can securely buy and sell tickets from each other without expensive fees.

Both of these websites are operated by the PyeongChang 2018 Organizing Committee which means you are getting your tickets from the official source for the Winter Games, keeping you clear of any fraud that has occurred with tickets in past games.

Advantages of purchasing through the PyeongChang 2018 site are numerous, including the fact that often times there will be better seats and locations via the Fan-to-Fan sites as tickets may have been purchased early in the selling cycle. Here are a few other pros now that you can buy on the sites again:

• You will pay actual face value in South Korean won (KRW). This means no added fees and no fixed exchange rate that costs you money.
• You have three options for how you want your tickets delivered: 1) Pick up at one of the many ticketing outlets in South Korea; 2) Print them at home; 3) Add them to your mobile device for entry via the PyeongChang 2018 mobile app.
• The widest selection of events and tickets are available through the PyeongChang 2018 website.
• You have the option to sell your tickets to other fans in case your favorite team does not advance into the next phase of the competition, for example in Ice Hockey or Curling. You may not want to go but your tickets will be marketable to fans of the other teams who are playing. The Fan to Fan resale site is a big plus for those that follow their teams through the tournaments, where it is often unclear which session your team will be playing in until the last minute before each elimination round. Additionally, if you make other plans and are unable to attend you can possibly sell and recover your costs. Note: To sell you tickets and receive refunds, today refunds must go to a Korean bank account. Foreigners can open accounts in South Korea.

Be sure to bookmark and follow me on Twitter as updates on Ticket sites, news, prices and availability are announced.

Lastly, you might be asking about secondary ticket marketplaces like Stubhub, Vivid Seats, TicketsNow, and Viagogo where you might find tickets for other hard to get events. At this time, PyeongChang 2018 sales have be slow enough (<60% sold) where these are not an efficient or cost effective route for you to purchase tickets.

About Ken Hanscom
Ken Hanscom is a veteran-fan of the Olympic Games and the recognized expert in ticketing, corporate sponsorships, traveling to and experiencing the Olympic Games. In his role as COO at InviteManager, during Rio 2016, Ken worked directly with the United States Olympic Committee, NBC Universal, Anheuser Busch, & Cartan Tours the authorized ticket reseller for 23 countries across the globe on their ticketing & corporate hospitality programs. While in Rio, Ken attended 30 events while guest blogging for the International Business Times, writing for USA Today, The Post Game, and appearing on ESPN Radio. For more information and interviews with Ken on the Olympics and the upcoming PyeongChang 2018 games, connect via Twitter or directly at kenh@invitemanger.com

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Road to PyeongChang

Road to PyeongChang. Covers the latest Olympics business, sponsorship, ticketing, travel, and fan news in the lead up to and during the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics Winter Games.

Ken Hanscom

Written by

Your guide to everything Tokyo 2020. Olympics planning, tickets, sponsorship, & experiences. COO TicketManger: kenh@ticketmanager.com

Road to PyeongChang

Road to PyeongChang. Covers the latest Olympics business, sponsorship, ticketing, travel, and fan news in the lead up to and during the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics Winter Games.

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