Now is the time to act if you want to be one of the lucky ones to witness the opening of the Olympics at China National Stadium on the evening of August 8, 2008. The first phase of ticket reservation for the Beijing Olympics started on April 15. More than 7 million tickets were opened for sale to the public, 75 percent of which will be sold in China, and 25 percent overseas.
It was reported that on that first day, more than 50,000 people submitted ordering forms successfully on the official website www.tickets.beijing2008.cn, placing orders for 250,000 tickets. The website received 18 million person/time visits in two days.
Luckily, everybody is likely to have the same chance to the most popular tickets if applying before the first phase ends on June 30, 2007. A computer-operated draw will determine who gets tickets for oversubscribed events.
So you still have two months' time to get a chance to enter the draw. And who knows, maybe you can get your tickets directly if the ones you book are not oversubscribed.
Who can buy tickets
*If you live outside China, or are traveling briefly in the country, you will probably need to buy your ticket at your country's National Olympic Committee.
*If you are a foreign expat in China, and want to buy Olympic tickets here, you need to: first, have established domicile in the territory of PRC (except Hong Kong SAR, Macao SAR and Taiwan Province), second, possess a valid passport, with a Chinese visa valid for six months or more.
*Citizens in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan need to order tickets from their regional Olympic Committee or sports federations.
*These limitations are only for the reservation period. When tickets are available at the ticket booths at Olympic venues (a week before the Game starts), anyone can buy them on the spot.
How to buy tickets
In the first phase until June 30, people can log onto the official website, or fill in an application form at the Bank of China, or send their application form, which can be downloaded from the website, to Beijing 100007 mail box, 98 sub-box, Post code 100007 (10000798,100007).
The result of the 1st phase of ticket reservation will be revealed from July-September 2007.
Starting the 2nd phase, lasting from October-December 2007, tickets will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. People can also book tickets in this stage from Olympic Call Center: 86-10-952008.
The 3rd phase lasts from April 2008 until the Games end. Besides the above-mentioned ways, people can also buy tickets at the competing venues directly a week before the Games start.
*The number of tickets one can buy for each game or match is limited. For example, one person can only buy one ticket for the opening ceremony, two tickets for the more popular events, and 3-5 tickets for events with less demand.
*To buy a ticket in China, one must have a Bank of China account, or a Visa card, two accepted methods of payment. Everybody must use their own bank account to buy their tickets. So you cannot buy a ticket to the opening ceremony with your bank account for anyone else.
*The name of the account holder of Bank of China or Visa card must correspond with whoever is claiming the tickets.