First Rio Carnival Tickets Sell Out in 30 Minutes


The first 36,840 tickets for the Carnival parades in Rio's famed Sambadrome sold out in half an hour Tuesday, organizers said.

The coveted tickets, for grandstand seats and individual chairs for the parades scheduled for February 19 and 20, were sold only to Rio residents by telephone at a cost ranging from 67 to 222 dollars, the Independent League of Samba Schools (Liesa) said.

Work is under way to expand the capacity of the Sambadrome, designed by Brazil's star architect Oscar Niemeyer, from 60,000 to 75,000 seats.

The next sale for less expensive tickets is scheduled for February 8.

Last year, some 800,000 tourists visited Rio for Carnival week, which is billed as the biggest show on earth.

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