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Putin Lauds Sochi Ticket Pricing Policy

SOCHI — President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that a flexible ticket price policy at next year’s Sochi Olympics would allow people from all income groups to attend the event.

Prices start at 500 rubles ($15.15) to watch some sliding events in the mountains and reach 50,000 rubles ($1,515) for a category A seat at the opening ceremony on Feb. 7. About half of all tickets available cost 3,000 rubles or less.

“The pricing policy will be flexible and allow people with various income levels to visit the Olympic Games,” Putin said. “It is important to provide the possibility for people from various Russian regions to attend this festival of sport.”

Organizers said this week that fans were still able to buy tickets for all events and ceremonies via the ticketing website and at shops in Russia.

“We have put a special focus on the availability of tickets to Russian citizens,” the organizing committee chief Dmitry Chernyshenko said. “The process was organized in such a way so that the overwhelming majority of spectators were from our country. Russian citizens will count for 75 percent of all spectators.”

Chernyshenko added that 65 percent of all the tickets have been sold, stating they would keep 15 percent for distribution during the Games.

Special measures have been taken to prevent ticket scalpers. In January, Putin signed a law that levies a fine of up to 1 million rubles ($33,000) for anyone who sells Sochi 2014 tickets above their face value.

In an attempt to keep costs down for visitors, the Russian federal government has capped the hotel prices for the period of Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Putin, who was on an inspection visit to Sochi on Thursday, also said the Black Sea resort was all but ready to host the Winter Games, but warned there was no time to lose on completing the 40,000-seater Fisht Olympic Stadium, the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies.

 “Almost everything has been done, but when I say almost I mean some things still need to be polished,” Putin said. “We should talk more about the main stadium where the opening and closing ceremonies will take place. Some of the equipment should be installed and additional preparation work should be finished.” The XXII Winter Olympic Games run from Feb. 7 to 23.

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