The second batch of Olympic tickets will go back to lottery draw with similar process as the first stage, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) announced at a press conference on Friday.
Zhu Yan, the new director of the ticketing center of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) picks questions from the media at a press conference in Beijing on Friday. [BOCOG]
Zhu Yan, the new director of the ticketing center of the committee, said there would be no less than 1.8 million tickets on offer. But Zhu said the exact number of the left tickets is not known because payment for the first round of tickets ended on Friday.
People can apply for the second batch of tickets through the official ticketing website of the committee (www.tickets.beijing2008.cn) or at the 1,000 Bank of China designated branches, from December 10 to 30. Each individual with proper identification is allowed to fill only one ticket application form to apply for two competition sessions, with no more than four tickets for each session. A person can request a maximum number of eight tickets.
“We hope people will apply for the tickets at different times to avoid overcrowding the system on the Internet or in the banks, as everyone has the chance as long as they apply within the time period,” Zhu told the press.
But the director said the tickets for the disabled and those accompanying them would be sold during the third stage of sales next year because the number of “no-barrier seats” in Olympic venues is still being counted.
The Games organizers announced the second round of tickets would revert to a lottery draw after it was suspended on the same day sales began on October 30. Overwhelming demand caused chaos during the day as the booking system crashed, phone lines were jammed and serpentine queues formed at banks.
The first-come, first-served policy was criticized as unfair and inconvenient, as only over 43,000 tickets were sold during the first two hours before the system crashed.
More than 1.59 million tickets were sold during the first stage lottery draw, which began in April. This included 26,000 each for the most-wanted opening and closing ceremonies. Tickets for events where China has gold medal hopes are in high demand.
Zhu wasn’t sure specifically which events were already sold out, but said this information would be available on the ticketing center website.
“I suggest people go watch some less popular events and support athletes playing in preliminary rounds. It is more likely that you can get tickets for these games,” Zhu advised.
The director reminded the public to put down their correct bank account numbers and details when applying. “We spent a long time trying to contact people who got their numbers wrong, or put down the wrong contact information so we couldn’t collect their money during the first stage,” he said.