China's last batch of Olympic tickets sells out in two days

Other News Materials 7 May 2008 17:47 (UTC +04:00)

Organizers of the Beijing Olympics on Wednesday said most of the final batch of tickets in China sold out in two days, reported dpa.

All tickets for competitions in Beijing and Hong Kong, which will host equestrian events, had completely sold out by early Wednesday, Wang Hui, a spokeswoman for the Beijing organizing committee (BOCOG), told reporters.

Only tickets for football group matches in the cities of Shanghai, Shenyang, Tianjin and Qinhuangdao were still available, Wang was quoted as saying on the official BOCOG website.

The BOCOG ticketing website was swamped with up to eight million hits per hour during the peak clamour for tickets, Wang was quoted as saying.

The flood of applicants caused more problems for the website following a crash that forced the suspension of the previous phase of ticketing.

Before the opening of sales on Monday morning, hundreds of people queued at Bank of China branches to buy the 1.38 million tickets for 16 sports, including boxing, football, volleyball and basketball.

But Wang said some of the reserved tickets for the Games would be offered for sale again if applicants failed to meet the payment deadline of May 14.

Organizers have said the Beijing Games will generate about nine million tickets, however many are designated for the International Olympic Committee, sponsors, dignitaries and broadcasters.

About seven million tickets are to be sold for the August 8-24 Games, about 40 per cent of them in China, with an expected revenue of 140 million dollars (97 million euros).

To make the tickets affordable for ordinary Chinese citizens, the price for 58 per cent of the seats was set at 100 yuan (13 dollars) or lower.

Prices for the events in 28 sports range from 30 to 1,000 yuan, while tickets for the August 8 opening ceremony cost up to 5,000 yuan.

Fourteen per cent of the tickets are reserved for students at a price of 10 yuan or less.

In the first phase last year, BOCOG sold about 1.59 million tickets to Olympic events and all the tickets for the opening and closing ceremonies.

Zhu Yan, BOCOG's head of ticketing, last month said anti-counterfeiting technology would make the forging of tickets difficult, but said he still expected to see some "low quality" fakes.

The ticketing services are a joint venture between US-based Ticketmaster and two Chinese firms.