Olympic Federation of Ireland (OFI) have signed an agreement with the city of Fukuroi for Ireland’s Tokyo 2020 pre-Games training camp and confirmed Elämys Group as their authorised ticket reseller (ATR).
The agreements were announced at an event in the Sport Ireland Institute.
OFI revealed the city of Fukuroi was selected after eight other locations in Japan were reviewed by representatives from Sport Ireland, the Institute, the OFI and its Athletes’ Commission.
The organisation stated Fukuroi presented a very strong fit for the needs of Team Ireland prior to Tokyo 2020.
Fukuroi, located 90 minutes to the west of Tokyo in the Shizuoka Prefecture, boasts the Ecopa Stadium, an indoor arena and athletics facilities.
The 50,889 capacity Ecopa Stadium is set to host matches at this year’s Rugby World Cup, with the city set to host the Irish rugby team for a week during the tournament.
Fukuroi City Mayor Hideyuki Harada was present at the announcement.
"Through today’s agreement with Fukuroi City, we have now secured all of the major elements required for our athletes at the pre games training camp," Peter Sherrard, the OFI chief executive, said.
"I want to thank Mayor Harada and the City for their excellent cooperation to achieve this in a timely fashion.
"We do this in partnership with Sport Ireland and I thank John Treacy and his team at the Sport Ireland Institute for a joined up approach that places the athletes and their performances first."
The OFI also confirmed two further appointments to support Chef de Mission Tricia Heberle at Tokyo 2020.
London 2012 Olympic triathlete Gavin Noble has been appointed as the second deputy Chef de Mission, joining Liam Harbison.
Noble will be responsible for sport operations and athlete liaison, while Sport Ireland Institute director Harbison will oversee performance strategy and stakeholder relations.
Nancy Chillingworth has additionally been confirmed as performance manager at the Olympics and will have specific responsibility over the pre-games training camp in Fukuroi.
She joins Phil Moore, who had already been selected as director of performance support.
The OFI plan to make further announcements will follow in the coming months when team leaders, head coaches and the coaching support are confirmed, as well as the sport science and medical support teams.
Finnish company Elämys Group were selected as the OFI’s ATR for Tokyo 2020, with the organisation claiming the choice came at the end of a rigorous selection process.
The OFI state before the final appointment of the new ATR their Executive Board asked accounting firm Grant Thornton to conduct a thorough review of the company.
The review was asserted to have examined the firm’s financial stability, ownership structures, industry checks, regulatory compliance, and consumer protections.
The OFI Board were satisfied to appoint Elämys as the ATR after receiving the findings of the report.
Elämys replace the controversial agreement between the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI), now the OFI, and British firm THG.
The THG agreement was ended after nine years in 2017, following the ticketing scandal which emerged at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The agreement was negotiated by former OCI President Patrick Hickey but was not approved by the OCI Executive Board.
It was due to expire after the conclusion of the 2026 Winter Olympic Games.
The agreement was ended after politicians were warned it may have breached the country's laws following a report into the scandal by Justice Carroll Moran.
The report claimed Pro10 had been established to act as a front for THG after the company was turned down as the ATR for the OCI by Rio 2016.
Hickey resigned from his role as OCI President following his arrest as part of a Brazilian inquiry into the handling of tickets at Rio 2016.
OFI President Sarah Keane claimed the appointment of Elämys was a major milestone given the context of the 2016 scandal.
She claimed the organisation’s latest announcements showed an effort to deliver an athlete first approach, as well as serving the general public.
"Governance structures and creating an environment for the growth of the organisation have been priorities for the Board of the OFI with the ultimate aim of better servicing the needs of our athletes and member federations," Keane said.
"Following the appointment of our new chief in 2018, we have been able to grow the resourcing of the organisation significantly, and today we add two further positions to support the Games leadership team of our Chef de Mission, Tricia Heberle.
"Given the context, the appointment of Elämys Group as ATR marks another important milestone on this journey, and we are pleased to have a new partnership in place focused on servicing our athletes, families and the general public in relation to their ticketing arrangements at the Games."
Sport Ireland chief executive John Treacy praised the close cooperation between the organisation and the OFI.
He claimed the latest announcements showed an athlete-centred plan which would ensure they have necessary support at Tokyo 2020.
"Preparations for Tokyo 2020 are really gathering pace as we move closer to the Games next year," Treacy said.
"Today’s announcements are all important milestones in the pre-Games, athlete centred plan that has been prepared by the Olympic Federation of Ireland, Sport Ireland and Sport Ireland Institute.
"We have continued to advance our close collaboration between Sport Ireland and the Olympic Federation of Ireland and we are all firmly focused on ensuring that our athletes have the necessary support in the run up to the Games next year.
"The world-class facilities that will available to Team Ireland at the pre-Games camp in Fukuroi City are second to none.
"I was very pleased to meet Mayor Harada and a delegation of officials from Fukuroi City earlier today and I was very encouraged by their commitment to ensuring that Team Ireland are well looked after during they stay in their City ahead of the Games next year."