The booking system crashed under an "unexpected" huge demand for
the second batch of Olympic tickets when sales started on Tuesday
According to the Beijing Olympic Ticketing Center, some 9,000
tickets sold out within two hours after the 1.85 million tickets
went on sale at 9 AM, while the official ticketing website (www.tickets.beijing2008.cn)
saw 8 million hits in the first hour and more than 200,000 orders
were received every second.
"Our system has been slow and people couldn't log onto it," said
Rong Jun, head of the Olympic Ticketing Center. "We are making
efforts to remedy the problem and hope that people will remain
patient and try later."
People waited in long queues for hours outside the designated
1,000 branches of the Bank of China, but most of them had to leave
disappointed as the booking system crashed soon after the sale
"We had tested the booking system several times, but the number
of buyers was still beyond our expectations," said Xu Chen, head of
the Olympic affairs office at the Bank of China.
Mu Di, who already owns one of the hottest tickets to watch the
opening ceremony on August 8, 2008 from the first round of sales,
was the first in line at the Bank of China headquarters near the
Xidan shopping street.
"I also want to buy tickets for the men's basketball final,
women's volleyball final, men's soccer final, men's tennis singles
final and men's 110-meter hurdles final, so I came here as early as
2:30 AM," she said.
But Mu eventually only got two tickets for the men's tennis
singles and men's 100m hurdles final after a one-hour wait. "The
bank staff told me that they couldn't give me a letter of
confirmation because the system crashed," Mu said. "They asked me
to come again in a few days to pick up the letter."
A total of 7 million tickets are available for sale, with about
75 percent being reserved for domestic sales. The first 1.6 million
tickets have been allocated after a lottery earlier this year.
(Xinhua News Agency October 30, 2007)