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ok, I'm joining the games ticket buying marathon (an event in itself) a lot later than I did for Athens or Torino.

Any tips for last minute tickets?

Are all Official agencies now out of popular tickets (Finals, Ceremonies, Swimming, Diving) or is it worth trying smaller offficial agencies?

Is it worth monitoring ebay?

And will there be more released? Athens and Torino had lots of suprising tickets left right up to the last minute I found - are these sponsor returns?

I met one guy who said he just went ot every games with a couple of tickets, then bought the rest when he was there, he said he never had any trouble though I think he was exaggerating

Your tips please...

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I think Beijing will differ from the European Games. Local demand is much higher, sponsors are taking their allotments and while there are fewer international spectators expected, most international allocations were way smaller than they should have been. There will be tickets available when you get there - but dont expect to get into the swimming or diving, table tennis, track cycling or gymnastics.

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Don't think you could buy any tickets in Beijing at Games-time.

Maybe for hundreds of dollars, but not at official ticket agents.

In Athens 570,000 tickets have been sold to the other countries, in Beijing it is already 1 million. Between 500,000 and 600,000 is normal. Also Sydney, Atlanta, Barcelona, Seoul and Los Angeles had such results. But they allocated 1 million and there are enough tickets who were not sold. In Beijing all are sold out. Maybe you could buy some tickets for team sports, because we don't know the drawings.

In Beijing there are 9 million tickets altogether. 7.2 million of them is for the general public and 1.8 million is for the officials, athletes, guests, sponsors, suppliers, hotels and the media.

Of the 7.2 million for the general public 1 million is for foreigners and 6.2 million for the Chinese people.

They expect 400,000-600,000 foreigners are travelling to Beijing. There are many more foreigners who want to go to Beijing thean normal. That's because there are a lot of people who think this is he oppurtunity to visit China.

In Athens 100 countries requested tickets for the Games, now there are 150 countries. That's a lot more. So you see it's almost impossible to get tickts, maybe the black market is an option. But I don't know what the Chinese authorities will do because they know the buyer from each ticket and they will control it at the entrance of each venue.

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But I don't know what the Chinese authorities will do because they know the buyer from each ticket and they will control it at the entrance of each venue.

How? I'm sure those ticket checkers won't be able to figure out Thaie names from Basque names to probably Turkish ones? And what if you get sick on a certain day and give your tickets to your buddy or your mate? How will they deal with that?

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Although there was some rumbling awhile ago about matching every ticket for every event to an individual buyer--validated with ID at the venue--I think that idea has died off due to the impossibility of implementing it. First of all, BOCOG would need to have master lists from every country of who bought what ticket, in order to encode this information during the printing process. Second, can you imagine how long it would take to get spectators into each venue if they had to do this kind of check? No way!

So, while all legitimate tickets will have the RFID contact embedded as an anti-counterfeiting measure, only the Ceremonies tickets will have RFID plus additional information (esp the buyer's photo) for ID validation at the venue entrance. Except for Ceremonies tickets, swapping should be doable.

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On the general topic of last-minute availability, I agree it will be difficult to get hold of the premier events, and I don't expect the official outlets to have very many tickets available at all to even the secondary events. So, that leaves the unofficial sources, which will always have some availability but you'll need to pony up some serious cash.

Overall, while there are around 9 million total tickets for the Games, when you look at how they are spread across events it is illuminating: Around 50% of all these tickets are basically in 4 sports: Football, Athletics, Basketball, Volleyball. And an overwhelming majority of the Football tickets are at non-Beijing venues. That leaves the other 50% to be spread across all the other sports combined. Tickets for sports with the double whammy of very few sessions AND a small venue (i.e. Track Cycling) are scarce as hens' teeth.

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On the general topic of last-minute availability, I agree it will be difficult to get hold of the premier events, and I don't expect the official outlets to have very many tickets available at all to even the secondary events. So, that leaves the unofficial sources, which will always have some availability but you'll need to pony up some serious cash.

Overall, while there are around 9 million total tickets for the Games, when you look at how they are spread across events it is illuminating: Around 50% of all these tickets are basically in 4 sports: Football, Athletics, Basketball, Volleyball. And an overwhelming majority of the Football tickets are at non-Beijing venues. That leaves the other 50% to be spread across all the other sports combined. Tickets for sports with the double whammy of very few sessions AND a small venue (i.e. Track Cycling) are scarce as hens' teeth.

I take your point. Maybe I'm being over optimistic. I think a lot of the Chinese tickets will have been bought to sell on, so I'm hopeful even for premier events.

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  • 1 month later...

Interesting points and facts here.... one suggestion I'd add is be open minded and buy and trade - this has worked for me at other similar events... for example I have track (athletics) finals which turns out I can't go to but I will try to trade for earlier events that people may not be as interested in or able to go.... I remember past Olympics were less crowded the opening week than the later "closing" week... another thing to keep in mind.

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I remember past Olympics were less crowded the opening week than the later "closing" week... another thing to keep in mind.

I don't know if we have to look to Athens. There were not a lot of tickets sold there, the stands were almost empty. Only the finals (for example swimming) were nearly sold out. I think in Beijing it will be different.

A lot of people have to much tickets and are going to sell them in the weeks when they get their tickets (begin July) I expect.

From that moment watch e-bay carefully if you want some tickets.

Note: watch out for opening ceremony tickets. July 17 is the deadline to change the names on the microchip in the ticket. After that date is not worth it to buy an opening ceremony ticket. keep that in mind.

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Update

BOCOG has just started distributing tickets to domestic Chinese buyers, that were purchased in the Phase 1 and Phase 2 lotteries. So you may start seeing a lot of activity for resell/trade offers in the various auction sites, forums, discussion boards, etc. Just use common sense and caution out there, if you decide to participate.

Interesting aside: it seems that foreign buyers (legit residents of China) are having problems picking up their tickets, as their BOCOG official application form didn't have a place for middle name, whereas passports used as official ID of course, do. Rendering the name used on application "not the same" as the passport, resulting in Chinese staff members refusing to release the tickets. In spite of fact that the passport NUMBERS match up fine. Foreigners are furious. Another black eye for BOCOG ticketing. I'm not in China now but hope this kerfluffle has been solved by time I get back in about 10 days. Not ready for prime time....yet again.

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Update

Interesting aside: it seems that foreign buyers (legit residents of China) are having problems picking up their tickets, as their BOCOG official application form didn't have a place for middle name, whereas passports used as official ID of course, do. Rendering the name used on application "not the same" as the passport, resulting in Chinese staff members refusing to release the tickets. In spite of fact that the passport NUMBERS match up fine. Foreigners are furious. Another black eye for BOCOG ticketing. I'm not in China now but hope this kerfluffle has been solved by time I get back in about 10 days. Not ready for prime time....yet again.

I think it's al about security. They have so many rules now. Maybe too much I think if I read this story.

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I think it's al about security. They have so many rules now. Maybe too much I think if I read this story.

No, it's about the idiot Chinese at BOCOG and Gehua Ticketmaster not designing an application form for tickets that allowed for a middle name, which most foreigners have but Chinese don't. And also about idiot Chinese Bank of China employees refusing to believe that a person showing up with a valid account number and confirmation form emailed to them from BOCOG, with a first/last name and passport number connected to the account that matches an original passport being shown (except passport name shows the middle as well as first and last) really could be the same person. Complete lack of common sense in planning and in execution. BOCOG could put this this to bed tomorrow if they wanted to. Really, only about 12,000 foreigners throughout China managed to get tickets in Phases 1 and 2 that need to be picked up now--how many bogus foreign imposter ticket buyers could there really be showing up at BofC outlets? Especially when they have genuine passport #'s that identify them as the true and correct account holder.

I know someone who back in May (for reasons entirely due to their own screw up not BOCOGS), had to do the name/key information change form via BOCOG. It took multiple hassles and three weeks to make a simple single vowel addition to the name. What seems obvious and simple to accomplish to most of the outside world does not necessarily make it so in China. No foreigner here is going to willingly and meekly go through this idiocy-imposed paperwork thing without a big and ugly fight in the banking hall. I know I won't, should it come to that. If picking (and winning) daily fights with the Chinese were an Olympic sport, I'd probably be up there in medal contention.

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Well some athletics final tickets have turned up on the Aussie eBay site - $250US for two - not a bad deal. I am considering grabbing some as there is two for sale for the 400m hurdles final that Aussie Jana Rawlinson might actually win...

I am still iffy about buying them on eBay though. Also once the final works are complete BOCOG will find themselves with a handful of extra tickets (this happened in Sydney/SLC/Athens as well once media areas are set up and camera sight lines are determined) so I do believe some very limited availability will occur at Games time. A couple of my contacts believe there is still an allotment to be handed back from sponsors (then again most are complaining they arent getting any tickets???) and the few NOC's that didn't sell their inventory...

However I do believe any hand backs will go on sale prior to the Games - and it will be to the locals.

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Well some athletics final tickets have turned up on the Aussie eBay site - $250US for two - not a bad deal. I am considering grabbing some as there is two for sale for the 400m hurdles final that Aussie Jana Rawlinson might actually win...

I am still iffy about buying them on eBay though. Also once the final works are complete BOCOG will find themselves with a handful of extra tickets (this happened in Sydney/SLC/Athens as well once media areas are set up and camera sight lines are determined) so I do believe some very limited availability will occur at Games time. A couple of my contacts believe there is still an allotment to be handed back from sponsors (then again most are complaining they arent getting any tickets???) and the few NOC's that didn't sell their inventory...

However I do believe any hand backs will go on sale prior to the Games - and it will be to the locals.

BOCOG thinks not all Chinese customers will pay in time. These tickets will be also sold during the Games.

I think a lot of people just bought some Beijing tickets for selling them.

If I could find a swimming or very interesting diving ticket I will buy it if it's not too much money. But I'll try to get one in Beijing in the ticket boxes.

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Aussie ebay also has 4 Basketball tickets for AU$99 and they have a pic of tickets.

Yes, the picture shows Chinese Phase 3 sale tickets for football. Whether carelessness or purposeful deception, it doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the seller, does it? As for the basketball offer, ask questions if you decide to go for.

1) Are the basketball tickets from Phase 1 or Phase 2 Chinese lottery sales? If so, are they really category B and when will they be physically in seller's hands? Distribution has begun, so it is possible the seller does have them.

2) If not from Phase 1 or 2, are the tickets from Phase 3 Chinese open sale? You should know that in Phase 3, Men's basketball had almost NO sessions available for purchase. The only thing available on August 14 (yes, a master list was published and I'm looking at it now) were the First Session BK16 (09:00 and 11:15 a.m) games in Category C only, and the Second Session BK 17 (14:30 and 16:45 games) in Category B and C. FYI, match schedule later published is Spain vs Qual B at 09:00 and indeed Iran vs Australia at 11:15.

3) Assuming they have the tickets, ask what the level/tier, section, row, seats are.

For general info, Wukesong Basketball Arena was originally divided between Categories A, B, C roughly along 1st (lower), 1st (upper), 3rd tier levels respectively... with some exceptions. (Second tier is assigned to private skyboxes.) However, after the final seating chart was published by BOCOG, it had increased the A seats (whom nobody seems to have) and reduced/devalued the B seats to nearly all top tier, and especially devalued the C seats by relegating them to the top tier corners "up in the gods." If you end up in Sections 304-306, 309-311, 315-317, or 320-322, you will be in corner C seats or adjacent worst-quality B seats. Other 3rd tier sections are slated to be B seats either on the sides or ends. There are also a few B's on the end zone of upper 1st tier rows 17-28, but you'd have to be lucky to get assigned them.

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BOCOG thinks not all Chinese customers will pay in time. These tickets will be also sold during the Games.

I think a lot of people just bought some Beijing tickets for selling them.

If I could find a swimming or very interesting diving ticket I will buy it if it's not too much money. But I'll try to get one in Beijing in the ticket boxes.

Not sure what you mean by the first sentence--Chinese customers have already paid for tickets, or they wouldn't be getting them. There will definitely be Chinese who for the proper amount of cash, will part with their tickets. However, for those who are non-Chinese and/or non-resident foreigner, tapping into this network is going to be difficult in real-time.

There will definitely be tickets available at the box offices of the various venues, but in limited quantities and maybe not for all sports or all sessions of a sport. I wouldn't count on swimming or diving from official sources--there wouldn't likely be many, and they will get sold out within the first 10-15 minutes of being put on sale. More generally, if you have never done battle in a Chinese ticket queue before, well, you are certainly in for a treat!

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Not sure what you mean by the first sentence--Chinese customers have already paid for tickets, or they wouldn't be getting them. There will definitely be Chinese who for the proper amount of cash, will part with their tickets. However, for those who are non-Chinese and/or non-resident foreigner, tapping into this network is going to be difficult in real-time.

There will definitely be tickets available at the box offices of the various venues, but in limited quantities and maybe not for all sports or all sessions of a sport. I wouldn't count on swimming or diving from official sources--there wouldn't likely be many, and they will get sold out within the first 10-15 minutes of being put on sale. More generally, if you have never done battle in a Chinese ticket queue before, well, you are certainly in for a treat!

There was a deadline for Chinese customers for the payment. If they were to late with their payments the tickets went back to the BOCOG.

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There was a deadline for Chinese customers for the payment. If they were to late with their payments the tickets went back to the BOCOG.

Now I see what you mean. Yes there was a deadline for each of Phase 1 and 2 ticket win payments. I assure you, very few tickets went unpaid and back to BOCOG. So don't count on that as a source of many box office tickets. Moreover, just because tickets went back to BOCOG, doesn't mean those necessarily went back to the public pool of tickets--there are other places BOCOG could have disposed of any such tickets.

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Is BOCOG publishing a spectator guide, like other Games?

Our official ticket agent said BOCOG has not published it, but I am not sure, because it's very strange I think.

Yes, BOCOG has published one, which I got (free) when I picked up my tickets here in Beijing. It is Chinese-language only and has good graphics of all the venue areas, individual venues, transportation routes, etc. Even if you can't read Chinese, the graphical part is pretty self-explanatory and useful. Hopefully they will at least do an online, downloadable English version. There will be some kind of spectator reception/information counter at the Beijing airport, which perhaps will have some of the guides available.

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Yes, BOCOG has published one, which I got (free) when I picked up my tickets here in Beijing. It is Chinese-language only and has good graphics of all the venue areas, individual venues, transportation routes, etc. Even if you can't read Chinese, the graphical part is pretty self-explanatory and useful. Hopefully they will at least do an online, downloadable English version. There will be some kind of spectator reception/information counter at the Beijing airport, which perhaps will have some of the guides available.

Sounds interesting.

I don't know, but is it maybe possible to make some pictures from pages I need?

You can send the pictures, if you want to make, by e-mail.

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