The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG) on Wednesday revealed details of its affordable ticketing program. Following is an interview by Xinhua News Agency with BOCOG officials:
Q: How do you compare the ticket prices of the Beijing Olympic Games with that of previous Games?
A: Every organizing committee for the Olympic Games has to consider the affordability of the local people. China is a developing country, and our annual income is less than that of people in both Sydney and Athens.
Compared to the previous Games, prices of the tickets for the Beijing Games are significantly less. The highest price for an Opening Ceremony ticket is half of that for the last Games, and the lowest is only one fifth. For normal competitions, prices of the tickets, both the highest and the lowest, are only one third of those in Athens.
Q: Are all competition sessions priced?
A: The Beijing Olympic Games will feature 28 sports and 302 events with different audience expectation. Some sessions will not require tickets, such as road cycling, walking and the marathon, as these events will be open to spectators. We currently have 240 pricing categories for the tickets and are still discussing ticket policies for some specific events.
Q: Will there be any free tickets, tickets for staff or discounted tickets?
A: There won't be any free tickets, tickets for staff or discounted tickets. BOCOG has put a ticketing policy in place in order to ensure that tickets are potentially accessible to everyone. We have even developed a special program to allow the Chinese students to attend the Games.
Q: Will over 7 million tickets be sold to the public?
A: We have a quota in place. Domestic public have access to at least 50% of the tickets available, which is higher than recent Games.
According to the Olympic Games conventions, tickets are sold worldwide.
In addition to tickets for the domestic and international markets, BOCOG will also sell tickets to the IOC, NOCs, IFs, sponsors and broadcasters.
We have a preliminary quota for different market segments and the final plan will be published after approval by the IOC.
Q: How are the other seats allocated apart from the 7 million selling tickets?
A: BOCOG has seat allocations for the media who will report the Games. We have also allocated tickets for the athletes who are not to compete then and there. However, BOCOG will make every effort to sell as many tickets as possible.
Q: Will electronic tickets be used for the Beijing Olympic Games?
A: To reflect the theme of a "High-Tech Olympics", we are working with our ticketing partner and sponsors to apply high- technology in the ticketing process.
(Xinhua News Agency November 29, 2006)