Games tickets to be sold by lottery


Nov.6 - The second stage of Olympic ticket sales will revert to a lottery draw, the Games organizers said Monday.


The announcement comes days after sales - meant to be on a first-come, first-served basis - were suspended last Tuesday when the booking system crashed as a result of overwhelming demand on the first day.


The change aims to reflect a people-oriented policy and to adhere to "the principles of fairness, impartiality, and convenience to the public", the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) said on its official website.


Ticket applications will be accepted from December 10 to 30.


But BOCOG stressed that those who registered last Tuesday at designated Bank of China branches and through the BOCOG Ticketing Call Center still have priority in purchasing tickets.


The purchase guidelines for those buyers will be announced later. About 43,000 tickets were sold before the service was suspended at 6 pm last Tuesday and BOCOG had promised that those tickets orders remain valid.


The cap for the number of tickets in the lottery will also be modified - the original limit was 50 each. The new ticket limit and the date for the lottery draw will be announced later.


The 1.6 million tickets sold during the first stage between April and August were allocated by lottery, including 63,000 for the opening and closing ceremonies at the National Stadium.


The second stage of the sales had about 1.85 million tickets on sale through websites, a hotline and designated Bank of China branches.


According to the Beijing Olympic Ticketing Center, the official ticketing website ( saw 8 million hits in the first hour starting 9 am, while the ticketing hotline received 3.8 million calls.


Rong Jun, director of the ticketing center, said organizers "underestimated the situation and enthusiasm of people, and did not prepare fully and have a good contingency plan" after the suspension and apologized to the public.


BOCOG officials said they have held a series of discussions on the technical problems and taken suitable measures.


A total of 7 million tickets are available for the Beijing Games, with some 75 percent reserved for domestic sales. In the third phase - from April to August next year - tickets will be released on a first-come, first-served basis.


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