(eTN) – The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and Paralympic Games ticket is already a winner. The Beijing Organizing Committees of the Olympic Games (BOCOG) said bookings for the artistic and rhythmic gymnastics, table tennis, diving and synchronized swimming in which the Chinese are expected to be fierce competitors are already over-booked.
“I plan to watch beach volleyball and diving,” commented a would-be ticket buyer in an interview with a local paper. “I better hurry and submit my application before the deadline.”
A thousand Bank of China branches have been designated as ticket sales agents, in addition to bookings made directly through the Games’ website, www.tickets.beijing2008.cn.
Buyers from outside China can buy tickets through their respective National Olympic Committee (NOC) or official ticketing agent.
According to BOCOG, two million tickets have been booked as of last week, representing 340,000 purchases, of which 90 percent of orders were made online.
Tickets are sold through a centralized lottery system, and those who are unsuccessful will be refunded. The first batch of tickets was allocated earlier in 2007, with the third phase scheduled for booking in April 2008.
Through the lottery system, a buyer is limited to a maximum of 50 tickets, and not more than 5 tickets per event. For more popular events, the limit is two tickets for each game. “This is to ensure more people have a chance to purchase tickets. All applicants will have an equal opportunity to get tickets,” BOCOG said.
Most of the tickets purchased are for events in which Chinese competitors are expected to excel, including the first 2008 Olympic gold, which has now been narrowed down to the women’s air pistol and the women’s weightlifting event.
BOCOG also confirmed that it has received 23,000 bookings for its opening and closing ceremonies.
The Beijing Olympics will run from August 8-24, 2008. Approximately 10,500 athletes and about 20,000 accredited media are expected to attend.