Jakarta. Low-priced tickets will be available for students who want to witness the 2018 Asian Games held in Jakarta and Palembang, South Sumatra, next month.
More than 10,000 athletes from 45 countries are expected to compete in the mega-event.
A public debate was ignited recently, when the Indonesian Asian Games Organizing Committee (Inasgoc) released the event's ticket pricing through Kiostix.com.
The prices ranged from Rp 750,000 ($51.68) to Rp 5 million for the opening ceremony at the Gelora Bung Karno sports complex in Jakarta on Aug. 18. For the closing ceremony in early September, tickets were available at between Rp 450,000 and Rp 2 million.
The cheapest tickets for the event's competitions were sold for Rp 50,000, which is still expensive in Indonesia, where the annual income per capita is $4,000.
"We're planning to have special prices for students, some tickets will be even free. We'll announce the details later," Inasgoc deputy for operations Harry Warganegara Harun told the Jakarta Globe on Thursday (19/07).
"As for the opening, the price is relatively low compared with other international sporting events," he said, adding that the Olympics and the European Games can charge even between $500 and $2,000 for their opening ceremonies.
BBC Indonesia reported that the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) set the prices based on a study by British research agency Kantar TNS.
According to Kantar, Indonesians are willing to pay more for the Asian Games, particularly in Jakarta.
"Based on Kantar's document, people on average want to pay Rp 300,000 for regular seats and Rp 1.8 million for VIP seats," BBC reported.
Inasgoc chairman Erick Thohir said recently that 10,000 out of 40,000 tickets available for the opening have already been sold out.
"I will try to negotiate it with related parties [OCA and Inasgoc] to make the tickets cheaper," Indonesian contingent leader Syafruddin said on Wednesday.
The 2018 Asian Games will stage elite competitions for 40 sports, with athletes aiming for 463 gold medals.