Rio Olympics reportedly giving away 240K tickets to needy kids to help fill seats

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
John David Mercer/John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Rio Olympics will be giving away a gripload of Summer Games tickets to local underprivileged kids in both a show of goodwill toward Brazil’s needy and an effort to help fill some of the Games’ empty seats.

Around 240,000 tickets would be given to schoolkids who took part in Olympic legacy projects in some of Rio’s poorest areas, USA TODAY Sports reports.

According to the Guardian, Rio 2016 organizers said they had already reached their ticket sales target, allowing them to "give tickets away." These seats will be to some of Brazil’s less popular events like field hockey, golf and rugby.

Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

"There are several sports that are unknown to the youth, like golf and rugby," Rio 2016 communications director Mario Andrada told the Guardian. "We teach these kids Olympic values, we teach them how to play these sports."

Though the country’s more popular sports also seem to be having trouble selling out, whether because of high prices or fears of violence or the Zika virus. Whole sections were empty during the Olympic soccer matches prior to the Opening Ceremony. And according to USA TODAY Sports, the France — Colombia game on Wednesday logged just 6,847 attendees at Belo Horizonte — the stadium that filled upwards of 60,000 during the World Cup two years earlier.