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Tickets for upcoming Asian Winter Games in Hokkaido selling slowly

Tickets for the 2017 Asian Winter Games, which will take place in the cities of Sapporo and Obihiro in Hokkaido Prefecture between Feb. 19 and 26 -- are selling poorly. As of Jan. 19, with just one month to go until the opening ceremony, only about 30 percent of tickets for the event have been sold.

    It is thought that one of the reasons behind the sluggish sales is that many top athletes are choosing to participate in world championships, as opposed to regional championships, as part of their preparations for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

    According to event organizers, the current price range for Asian Winter Games tickets is from 500 yen up to 12,000 yen. As of Jan. 16, the only event to have sold out completely is the snowboard half-pipe event -- which has resulted in the additional sale of 500 tickets for the competition. Furthermore, approximately 80 percent of tickets for the men's figure skating free program, as well as the closing ceremony on Feb. 26 have been sold, with strong ticket sales for the opening ceremony, which will include a live performance by the band "Dreams Come True."

    On the other hand, ticket sales for the men's figure skating short program, as well as women's events, are only at about 20 percent, with the percentage being even less for short track speed skating -- in which there are no athletes from Hokkaido. Poor ticket sales is also the case for the relatively unknown biathlon event. Furthermore, the majority of tickets for the men's ski jump event, in which there are no high-profile athletes, have still not been sold.

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