Jakarta. Organizers of the 2018 Asian Games hope to attract more than 1.3 million spectators to the various sporting events, which will take place in Jakarta and Palembang, South Sumatra, between Aug. 18 and Sept. 2.
The Indonesia Asian Games Organizing Committee (Inasgoc) has come up with multiple strategies to attract more spectators, one of which is to provide students with 15 percent discounts on tickets for any Asian Games event.
The committee has also persuaded bus operator TransJakarta to provide free rides on selected days. Commuters will be allowed to travel for free on any busway route on Aug. 17, 18, 19, 22, 25, 26 and Sept. 1 and 2.
With the event expected to attract around 15,000 athletes and officials from 45 countries, Inasgoc ticketing director Sarman Simanjorang believes Indonesia can surpass the previous record of 1.3 million Asian Games spectators set by Incheon, South Korea, four years ago.
"Of course, with a greater number of sports and Indonesia's larger population, we want more than that," he said.
An Inasgoc official said 70 percent of the tickets for the opening ceremony at the Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex in Central Jakarta have already been sold.
"Even the C-category tickets [the lowest class] have been sold out," Sarman told reporters in Jakarta on Thursday (09/08).
Less popular sporting events can also expect a surge in spectators, with employees of government ministries and agencies, as well as members of the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the National Police, ready to be mobilized and issued with free tickets.
"We also spoke with the Jakarta administration to provide students with certain privileges," Sarman said, referring to a plan to close schools on selected days during the event.
Besides selling tickets to locals, Inasgoc has also received requests for significant numbers of tickets for certain sports events from participating nations' Olympic committees.
"For example, Japan and Korea have expressed interest in buying tickets wholesale for baseball and softball, the sports in which they have been dominant, but we have yet to decide," Sarman said.
Inasgoc is selling tickets online on Kiostix.com and also offline at ticket boxes outside the different venues.
Athletes will compete for a total of 463 gold medals in 40 sports during this year's Asian Games.