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Domestic Olympic ticket sales to start in May

23 April 2008

BEIJING – May will be the last chance for Chinese to buy tickets to the Beijing Olympics when 1.38 million go on sale online and at Bank of China outlets, organisers announced Wednesday.

Six months ago high demand for tickets caused a computer system to crash after just a few hours, forcing organisers to revert to a lottery system.

This time there will be no lottery system, said organisers.

"We have only 100 days to go before the opening ceremony. We don’t have enough time for a lottery draw," said Zhu Yan, director of the ticketing centre for the Beijing organising committee.

Zhu said Chinese buyers would be limited to three tickets for two sessions for a maximum of six tickets and once those were paid for, the same buyer could apply to purchase six more.

A year ago organisers announced 7.2 million tickets would be available, but the number has since fallen to 6.8 million, Zhu said on Wednesday without elaborating.

Organisers have said the Beijing Games will generate about 9 million tickets, however, many are designated for the International Olympic Committee, sponsors, dignitaries and TV broadcasters.

Zhu assured that number of anti-counterfeiting technologies have been used to make faking tickets difficult.

"We are sure that fake tickets will be created, but they will be low quality," said Zhu.

The final phase of tickets for the games will go on sale beginning 5 May with sales closing 9 June. The Beijing Olympics open on 8 August.

[dpa / Expatica]