In this tip last week, we shared how the major pro sports leagues in the U.S. are making full games available to stream for free while their seasons are on hold. Almost without exception, major sporting events are off the calendar until further notice.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which were set to start in July, have also been postponed. The IOC announced today that the new dates will be July 23-August 8, 2021, with the Paralympics to follow August 24-September 5, 2021. Because of what the Olympics represent and how special they are (I went to the London games in 2012), that’s a particularly big deal. This is actually the first time the Olympics have been been postponed since 1896 (the games were canceled outright during WWI and WWII). More than five million tickets have reportedly been sold to Olympic events this summer, to events that will no longer take place on the originally scheduled dates. So what do you do if you’ve planned a trip to attend the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?
Tickets to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
If you purchased tickets through the 2020 Tokyo Olympics website, the official position is the following:
- “In principle, Games tickets that are already purchased will be valid for a new date.
- Your tickets will be refunded if you will not be able to visit the venue on a new date and wish to receive a refund.
- In case we cannot secure your place for a new date due to the change in schedule and/or venue, your tickets will be refunded.
- Previously, we planned to deliver the Games tickets from June, but we have decided to suspend delivery for now.
“Tickets that have been already purchased will be handled in line with the above principles. We will make a further announcement once the details of the Games, such as the dates, are decided. If you purchased a ticket through The NOC, NPC or Authorised Ticket Resellers from each country/territory, please contact them directly.”
But what if you didn’t buy tickets directly from the source? In a post on the subject, Newsweek wrote last week that “Olympic tickets in the U.S. are sold by CoSport, on whose website tickets for selected events remained available as usual at the time of writing. On its website, CoSport states that the purchaser ‘may apply for a refund to the company [CoSport] under the parameters outlined in the Tokyo Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games Terms and Conditions.'”
In that story Newsweek cited “Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper [quoting] members of Tokyo’s organizing committee as saying tickets may not be refundable, due to a provision in the [organizing committee’s] Terms and Conditions for purchasing the tickets”—a force majeure (“act of God”) clause. Yet a week later, the official site lays out in pretty clear language that refunds can be expected according to the terms above. So at this point, if you can’t or don’t want to attend in 2021, it’s reasonable to expect a refund. The best play is likely to wait for more information as the new Olympic dates were announced just hours ago. If you’d prefer to take action right away, however, you can make an inquiry by email here.
Flights to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Getting flights to Japan refunded is a different story. If you booked your flights and tickets as part of a 2020 Tokyo Olympics package, you should contact your travel booker. If you booked your flights separately, check out this post I just wrote: A Trick to Get Your Money Back From Airlines That Canceled Your Flight.
With or without the Olympics, Japan is a wonderful destination. When the COVID-19 pandemic finally breaks and it’s once again safe to travel, there will be plenty of reasons to consider visiting. Here are some of our best stories on Japan:
- 10 Things to Do in Japan’s Fukuoka Prefecture
- One Day in Tokyo, Japan
- My Quick Trip to Tokyo
- 11 Things to Do in Japan’s Ishikawa Prefecture
- 10 Things to Do in Japan’s Chubu Region
- 10 Things to Do in Tokushima, Japan
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