7 million tickets to go on sale for Beijing Olympics

(China Daily)
Updated: 2006-10-28 06:32

More than 7 million tickets will go on sale for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, exceeding the figure at the 2004 Athens Games, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) said on Friday.

Of the tickets, about 4.9 million, or 70 per cent, will be sold within China and the remaining 30 per cent will be sold overseas.

"Since the Beijing venues have more seats than those in Athens, more tickets will be made available," said Rong Jun, ticketing division chief of the BOCOG Marketing Department.

Athens reportedly offered 5.3 million tickets for the 2004 Games.

Rong said about 60,000 tickets would be made available to the public for the opening ceremony of the Beijing Games.

"The opening ceremony will be held in the National Stadium, which is able to seat 91,000 people. Since a large number of seats will be taken by broadcasters and the media, there will be about 60,000 available for ordinary spectators."

According to officials, the ticketing programme for the Beijing Games is still under discussion, and ticket sales will start next year.

"We are currently busy preparing for the launch of the ticketing programme," said Yuan Bin, director of the BOCOG Marketing Department.

Following the launch of the ticketing programme, tickets will be available through the Internet, telephone sales, ticket booths at the venues and designated agencies outside Beijing.

But the number of tickets each individual will be allowed to buy will be limited, though no cap has been set.

"The practice will ensure more people have access to Olympic competitions and it will also help to avoid speculation," said Rong.

"To help curb counterfeiting, we are also considering a real-name system for ticket sales."

BOCOG has promised that the prices of most tickets will be low, allowing as many people as possible to see the Games for themselves.

"Apart from the opening and closing ceremonies and some key matches, ticket prices will be acceptable to ordinary people," said Rong.

Ticket price ranges for each event will be released at the end of the year.

To ensure efficiency, a Sino-US consortium of ticketing agencies has been selected as an exclusive service supplier.

Beijing Gehua Ticketmaster Ticketing Co Ltd, established by Gehua Cultural Development Group, China Sports Industry Group and US ticketing giant Ticketmaster, will be in charge of ticket sales for the 2008 Olympics and Paralympics.