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CORP/BIZ South Korea Prepares for Winter Olympics -- With Region In No Mood For Games
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  1. #1
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    South Korea Prepares for Winter Olympics -- With Region In No Mood For Games

    I see real potential for a major economic train wreck to occur for this event,
    -----------------

    South Korea prepares for Olympics -- with region in no mood for Games


    By Lukas Mikelionis Published September 13, 2017
    Fox News

    Just five months from now, South Korea will host the 2018 Winter Olympics. But tensions with North Korea have caused considerable problems for organizers of what is supposed to be a global celebration of sports.

    The Games are set to begin in February, but with North Korea in recent months testing missiles and what Pyongyang said was a hydrogen bomb, ticket sales for the event have remained disastrously weak.

    South Korea's historical lack of interest in winter sports hasn't helped, either, observers say.

    Organizers have said they hoped to attract at least 1 million spectators for the Olympics – with more than two-thirds of the ticket buyers being local Koreans.

    So far, however, only 52,000 tickets have been sold domestically through June, a total constituting less than 7 percent of the 750,000 seats the organizers aim to fill.

    Fans beyond the Korean Peninsula have purchased about half of their 320,000 alotted seats, although most of those sales occurred before North Korea put the world on edge with its missile tests.

    Geopolitics aside, experts have tried to provide other reasons for the lack of fan excitement as the Winter Games draw closer. After all, the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul were a resounding success -- with millions of South Koreans attending events and tuning in on television.

    Heejoon Chung, a sports science professor at Busan's Dong-A University, has attributed the lack of enthusiasm to South Korea having no strong winter sports culture.

    “I don't think there are many people who are willing to stay outdoors in the cold for hours to watch races on snow,” he said.

    In addition, players from North America's National Hockey League (NHL) will not be participating in the Olympics after failing to reach a deal with the Olympic committee. The lack of a deal will affect every major ice hockey-playing nation because the game's biggest stars play in the NHL, Reuters reported.

    Still, the regional uncertainty regarding North Korea seems to loom large as fans decide whether or not to attend the Games.

    South Korean officials have tried to allay any concerns, saying the Games will have “perfect security,” according to Lee Hee-Beom, president of the 2018 Winter Games organizing committee, Rappler reported.

    Lee also said the best way to ensure safety during the event is to ensure the participation of North Korean athletes in the Games. But that remains doubtful as North Korean athletes are relatively weak at winter sports -- even though organizers are looking into ways to include them.

    International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said last month – just a week before Pyongyang fired a missile over Japan – that there was “no reason for any immediate concern” about the threat in the region.

    Bach this week reiterated the community’s commitment to holding the Winter Olympics in South Korea, saying there was no “plan B” to change the location of the Games, Rappler reported.

    “There is so far not even a hint that there is a threat for the security of the Games in the context of the tensions between North Korea and some other countries,” the IOC president told reporters, according to Reuters.

    “We are in contact with governments concerned. In all these conversations with the leading figures in the different governments we can see there is no doubt being raised about the Winter Games of 2018.”

    He added: “We are also keeping the door open for the athletes of the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea). The Games are open for all national Olympic committees. This contact continues.

    “We are following the North Korean athletes taking part in qualification events. We offered to the National Olympic committee to support these athletes when needed.”

    For now, it remains unclear whether the North will take the special offer and participate in the Winter Olympics.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/09...for-games.html
    "The most intriguing point for the historian is that where history and legend meet."

    "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who think they are free."

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


  2. #2
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    A problem not mentioned in the article is that the Pyeongchang region is not a hot destination for tourists in and from outside of Korea.

    Fair Use Cited
    ---------------
    South Korea have Olympic ticket sales crisis as a result of nuclear tension

    THE 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea is looking at a terrible financial black hole as a result of rising nuclear tensions.


    APøcSeptember 13, 20171:27pm

    WITH five months to go until the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics open, organisers are struggling to sell tickets.

    Amid a torrent of North Korean weapons tests there are concerns spectators will stay away from the ski resort town about 80km south of the worldfs most heavily armed border.

    Organisers want more than one million spectators for the Games, which start in February, with hopes of selling 70 per cent of tickets to locals. In the first phase of ticket sales from February to June, only 52,000 tickets were snaffled up by locals, less than 7 per cent of the 750,000 seats they aim to sell domestically.

    International ticket sales have been steady, with more than half of the targeted 320,000 seats sold.

    Lee Hee-beom, president of Pyeongchangfs organising committee, said the clearest way to ease worries about North Korea was for the hermit state to send athletes to the Games.

    This is not yet clear, though given North Korea is traditionally weak at winter sports.

    Organisers will closely watch a September figure-skating competition in Germany featuring the North Korean pair of Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sik. They represent North Koreafs best shot at qualifying for the Olympics, which would likely require a top four finish in Germany.

    If the North Koreans fail to qualify, South Korea and the IOC will discuss other ways to secure the Northfs participation, such as granting special entries in some sports, Lee said.

    After taking office in May, South Korean President Moon Jae-in vowed to use the Olympics to try to ease animosities with the North.

    But his engagement efforts have crumbled amid North Korean nuclear and missile tests.

    IOC President Thomas Bach said last month there was gno reason for any immediate concernh about tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

    That was the week before North Korea fired a potentially nuclear capable intermediate range missile over northern Japan on August 29 and then conducted its sixth nuclear test on September 3.

    In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Lee Hee-beom said the North is highly unlikely to cause problems during the Olympics because North Korean athletes could compete in the South. This is not yet clear, though. North Korea is traditionally weak at winter sports, though a figure skating pair has a chance to qualify and organisers are looking at ways to arrange special entries for North Korean athletes.

    Lee also linked his optimism about ticket sales to South Korean experience managing past global events, including the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, three Asian Games and the 2002 World Cup soccer tournament.

    "This is a country that sold more than eight million tickets even for the Expo 2012 in Yeosu" ,he said Lee, 68, a former Cabinet minister and corporate CEO.

    gWe can definitely handle a million tickets.h

    Kim Dai-kyun, director general of communications for Pyeongchangfs organising committee, said strong advertisement campaigns are planned for television, newspapers, movie theaters and on the internet.

    Strong ticket sales are critical because organisers are currently 300 billion won ($267 million) short of the 2.8 trillion won ($2.4 billion) they need to operate the Games. Lee expects new sponsors to sign on and help erase the gap. Organisers also aim to raise 174.6 billion won ($155 million) by selling about 1.07 million tickets, or 90 per cent of the 1.18 million available seats. The 229,000 seats sold during the first phase of ticket sales equal about 21 per cent of the target. While this might seem modest, Lee said Pyeongchang has been selling tickets at a faster pace than Sochi was at a similar point ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

    The Olympics will cost about 14 trillion won ($12.4 billion) for South Korea, including the 11 trillion won ($9.7 billion) being spent to construct roads, railways and stadiums for the Games. This is larger than the 8 to 9 trillion won ($7 to 8 billion) Seoul projected as the overall cost when Pyeongchang won the bid in 2011.
    Kim Hee-soon, director of ticketing for Pyeongchangfs organising committee, said organisers aim to sell 50 per cent of their targeted seats by November. They hope to reach 80 to 90 per cent of the target by late January and sell the remainder of the tickets during the Games that begin on Feb. 9, she said. A big worry is the prospect of seeing blocks of empty seats in alpine and cross- country skiing and other snow sports that South Koreans are largely uninterested in.

    While organisers didnft provide specific sales figures by sport, they said most of the tickets purchased by South Koreans have been concentrated in a few events in figure skating, ice hockey, short-track and long-track speed skating, and the cheaper seats in the opening and closing ceremonies.

    Lee said organisers will focus on selling the low-demand tickets to government organisations, public companies and schools over the next few months to solve the "polarisation" in ticket sales.

    Lodging could be another problem as tourists are already complaining about soaring room rates. Officials hope prices will stabilise after five new hotels are built by the end of the year, adding more than 2,000 rooms. The government is also planning to add hundreds of apartment rentals, and a 2,200-room cruise ship will serve as a floating hotel in the nearby port of Sokcho. Organisers say a new high-speed rail line will link Seoul and Pyeongchang in an hour, starting in December, and will also allow travellers from the Seoul area to visit the Games and return home the same day.

    http://www.news.com.au/sport/sports-...9eeadf13562f3b
    "The most intriguing point for the historian is that where history and legend meet."

    "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who think they are free."

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


  3. #3
    It sure doesn't sound like thry thought that idea through very well! But the Olympics have been massive money sinks for decades now, and with them now allowing transgender and beings whose femininity is questionable at best to compete in the women's events, I suspect fewer and fewer people will be watching them at all.

    Summerthyme

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