Olympic fans who failed to secure tickets for the main event can now look forward to the next best thing: watching the Games on huge TV screens across the capital.
In a bid to ensure as many Beijingers as possible get to share the Olympic experience, screens will be set up at the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven and in the city's 24 Olympic cultural squares, Zhao Dongming, director of BOCOG's culture and ceremonies department, said yesterday.
"All of the squares will be open to the public free of charge, as will most of the exhibitions that will be held there, he said.
As well as the big Olympic screens, the squares will host a range of cultural activities right up to the end of the Paralympic Games, he said.
At The Place, a newly opened shopping plaza and Olympic square in the heart of the central business district, the Games will be shown on a 250-m-long by 30-m-wide LED screen, the biggest of its kind in Asia, Zhao said.
Meanwhile, in the more sedate surroundings of the Summer Palace, a public screen will be erected close to the Bafang Pavilion at the east end of the Seventeen-Arch Bridge, he said.
Kan Yue, director of the Palace, said: "We are looking forward to welcoming tourists and locals to watch the live broadcasts here next month."
At the Temple of Heaven, an Olympic screen was set up close to the rear wall of the Huangqian Hall on Friday.
Wang Mei, a retired woman who is a regular visitor to the temple park, said: "It's great that I'll be able to watch all the events while I'm doing my morning exercises."