Related reading:Beijing to put 7 million Olympic tickets on sale
The long-awaited ticket prices for the 2008 Beijing Olympics were published Wednesday on the official Games site and the prices for seats at the opening ceremony are as low as 200 yuan (US$26).
While opening ceremony prices are capped at 5,000 yuan (US$641) per head, the lowest price to view a sports competition will cost 30 yuan (US$4). Tickets sales will start as early as the first half of 2007.
International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge (L2) and 2008 Beijing Olympics organizing committee president Liu Qi(L1) visit the construction site of the National Swimming Center on October 24, 2006. [Xinhua]
The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) released the general pricing plan on its official site, but left specific information to be reviewed for the altogether seven million tickets that Beijing Olympics will generate.
Considering China's average purchasing power, the BOCOG had long promised to adopt a low-price ticket policy.
According to the website, tickets for closing ceremony range from 150-3,000 yuan (US$19-385), athletic competition preliminary tickets range from 30-300 yuan(US$4-39) and tickets to the finals from 60-1,000 yuan(US$8-128).
The BOCOG will also offer student tickets which, comprise about 14 per cent of all domestically-available tickets and cost merely five yuan (US$0.6) and ten yuan (US$1.2) for preliminaries and finals respectively.
"China is a developing country with an average income level below that of Sydney or Athens. Therefore the ticket prices are much lower compared to those of recent Olympics," the website said.
The highest price for opening ceremony tickets is about 50 per cent of that of recent Games. The lowest equals roughly 20 percent, according to the site. The price of competition tickets average about 30 per cent of that of the previous Games.
The site said no less than 50 per cent of all Olympic tickets would be sold to the domestic public, as tickets should also, according Olympic tradition, be available to international audiences.
So far the BOCOG has worked out 240 prices for the Beijing Olympics' 28 sports and 38 disciplines while pricing for a few items is still being decided. Tickets aren't needed to watch events like road cycling, race walking and marathons.
The BOCOG promised not to offer gifts or ticket discounts based on nepotism,but will reserve a certain amount for the IOC, national Olympic committees and commercial partners.
The BOCOG said about 14 percent of the available tickets would be reserved for Chinese students, and that the domestic general public will have access to least 50 percent of all available tickets. The rest will go to sponsors, the IOC, national Olympic bodies and international sports federations.
"The IOC is very pleased that BOCOG has found an affordable ticketing program which will maximize the opportunity for the Chinese public to enjoy the Games, whilst balancing with interest from the international community," the IOC said in the statement.