Free tickets for schoolchildren proposed for 2016 Rio Olympics; but who will pay for them?

Associated Press

Thousands of local schoolchildren will receive free tickets to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro if city hall and organizers can decide how to pay for them.

Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes proposed months ago that the city buy 1.2 million of the 7.5 million tickets to be issued for the games — about 16 percent — and distribute them to schools.

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Renato Ciuchini, the chief commercial officer for the games, called this a "marvelous" idea on thursday, but said the organizing committee would not foot the bill, an estimated $10 million.

Ciuchini says "there are no free tickets."

Paes' office says "negotiations are ongoing," but indicated no progress since he made headlines with the idea following criticism that the poor were priced out of last year's World Cup.