China To Sell Olympic Tickets By Lottery
Organizers of the 2008 Olympics have abandoned plans for online ticket sales after the ticketing system crashed last week due to heavy demand by Chinese sports fans.
The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG) will offer tickets through a lottery system. Ticket applications will be accepted from December10 until December 30. There is no word on many tickets each person can purchase or when the lottery will take place.
A lottery was held in June for the first round of 1.6 million tickets. The sale of those tickets went smoothly. China plans to sell seven million tickets for the games over three phases with three-quarters of the tickets reserved for local residents.
Last week when the Olympic tickets were for sale online the system received more than eight million hits in the first hour causing the site to crash. The site could only handle one million hits and 150,000 sales in an hour. Just 9,000 tickets out of the 1.85 million that went on sale were sold.
Organizers said they are using the lottery system, "In the interest of fairness and for everyone’s convenience." People living outside of China will get a chance to buy tickets in April 2008.