Swimming Among Most Expensive Tickets for 2020 Olympic Games

On July 20th, the Tokyo Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games announced the ticket prices for all Tokyo 2020 Olympic events.

Pool swimming, diving, and artistic swimming (formerly known as synchronized swimming) will be held in the Olympic Aquatics Centre, while the water polo events will be held in the nearby Tatsumi International Swimming Centre, both of which are located in the Tokyo Bay Zone: one of two zones hosting the majority of the events for the Olympic Games. Open water swimming will be held in the Odaiba Marine Park.

Pool swimming tickets will top out at JPY 108,000, or USD970. Swimming is one of only three sports, matching basketball (JPY 108,000) and athletics (JPY 130,000), that have tickets topping out at over JPY 100,000. The cheapest tickets for pool swimming are JPY 5,800 (USD 52), which makes them the most expensive ‘cheapest tickets’ in the Olympics, matched by trampoline gymnastics.

At the other end of the spectrum, the open water races will be among the cheapest for spectators to attend.

Construction at the Olympic Aquatics Centre, which will seat 15,000 spectators, is on track, according to organizers.

Exact prices for different seats and matches have still not been announced, but the table below compares ticket price ranges for each of the aquatic disciplines to the ranges for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Historically, preliminary sessions have been the cheapest to attend, while any event where medals are awarded have been the most expensive.

While pool swimming, synchronized swimming, and open water swimming are more expensive in Tokyo than they are in Rio, diving and water polo competitions are, especially at the top-end in water polo. As a water polo venue, the Tatsumi International Swim Center (capacity 3,635) is much smaller than either of the two venues (Maria Lenk at 6,500 or the Olympic Aquatic Center at 18,000); and Japan specifically, and Asia more broadly, has historically been a more successful nation in both sports than has Brazil. That makes it unclear what market forces are driving the difference in ticket prices for those two disciplines.

Ticket Prices Tokyo (JPY) Tokyo (USD) Rio (USD)
Swimming 5,800-108,000 52-970 69-387
Artistic Swimming 4,000-45,000 36-404 26-180
Open Water Swimming 3,500-5,500 31-49 17-30
Diving 3,500-30,500 31-274 43-387
Water Polo 3,000-18,000 27-162 21-249

Note: Conversions for Rio Olympics are based on prices from September of 2014.



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I’ll watch on TV, the best seat in the house!


On mute so that you don’t have to listen to Rowdy and Dan Hicks.

Pat Laughlin

Love Rowdy’s commentary!


I’m led to believe the 2020 Olympics are entirely set up for USA with finals Japan breakfast time am is that right? August is also very very hot, nightmare time for athletics tv says yes?


I really think ticket-pricing at Olympic Games needs to be looked at. I believe the 20% income tax bracket in Japan covers people earning as little as £22000 ($28000). Those people are contributing to hosting the Games, yet their wage doesnt go far in Japan for anybody, let alone a family. When you take costs into account – youre looking at a $300 day out for a family of four buying the cheapest tickets available. It really wouldn’t be hard to set aside a small % of tickets per event at special discounted prices for lower income families, would it? Tickets seem easy to free up for sponsors who don’t turn up – The swimming at London 2012 was shameful… Read more »


They should give them away super cheap or free right before the event starts. If it’s empty, then someone gets it.

SumTing Wong

Simone says the tickets should be evenly distributed across the world .USA as 4% of the global population get 4% of the tickets . Which tickets? It will be random draw , just because you can afford them does not mean you deserve them. . This article does not tell us how many tickets are available but eg 15 sessions X 15 000 seats = 225,000 . 4% = 10,000 which is pretty good . US must allocate on what basis? Race means Whites get 67% & Blacks 13% Sth Americans 10% Asians 6% ? I believe each nation should be able to determine who because there must be diversity in delivery of assets too. It is cultural colonialism to… Read more »


Stop trying to make everything the same, that’s not equality that’s dictation. I’m too poor to afford these tickets, but that doesn’t mean I want them handed out to me for free. You gotta work for things in life or it has no meaning.

Also why you gotta bring race into it? That’s racist to make that a factor in who gets what tickets, just let the people who want to go go.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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