Olympic ticket scalpers move in

2008-05-07 20:38:06  China Daily      

Two local residents show their newly-bought Olympic tickets at a Bank of China branch in Taiyuan, North China's Shanxi Province May 7, 2008. The third round sale of domestic Olympic tickets for Beijing venues have been sold out within two days after the sales started at 9 a.m. on Monday, according to the Olympics' official website. [Xinhua]

The greatest wish of many Chinese sports lovers is to get a ticket for the men's 110 m hurdles final at the Beijing Olympic Games. The reason is simple: Liu Xiang is expected to defend his Olympic gold. However, a ticket can be costly. Within an hour of the third round of domestic tickets going on sale on Monday, all tickets to the men's 110 m hurdles event were sold out. For the unlucky ones, a slim hope still exists online where some people want to sell their tickets for other events, but at a price. A woman named Wang Xiao said online she wants to sell several tickets for the semifinals of the hurdles event. But wants 4,900 yuan ($700) for each ticket, more than six times the original price of 800 yuan. Buyers will also be provided a limo pickup service from their door to the sports venue. The woman said she has friends who are reselling their tickets at a huge profit. "My tickets are selling very well. I have sold more than 100 tickets for different events of the Games," she was quoted as saying by the Beijing Morning Post. Advertisements for the sale of Olympic tickets can be easily found online. The price of tickets for some popular events such as the opening and closing ceremonies have soared to 100,000 yuan each. Many Beijing residents said they were disappointed with the speculative reselling of tickets. It was unfair to genuine sports fans. In response, organizers of the Beijing Games said speculative reselling was a breach of the law. According to a regulation of the Ministry of Public Security in 2006, speculation in tickets sales and other valuable coupons can lead to 10 to 15 days in detention and a fine of less than 1,000 yuan. The tickets can be sold only once with the price no higher than the original one, officials said. Tickets for the opening and closing ceremonies were sold to buyers with their ID number recorded, therefore it would be difficult to resell them. Those who managed to buy them would be taking a risk. Some people who have no tickets are also advertising online to cheat buyers. A total of 1.38 million tickets were put on sale in the third round for 16 events. Each applicant is allowed to submit only one order for a maximum of two competitions with a limit of three tickets for each event. "This gives everyone a fair chance," Zhu Yan, the director of the Olympic ticketing center, said. All tickets for events in Beijing and Hong Kong were sold out on Tuesday. Only a few tickets were available yesterday for some events in other cities such as Shanghai, Qingdao, Shenyang and Tianjin.