NEWS

Athens 2004: ‘Tickets for Olympics a bargain’

Sixty-eight percent of the tickets for the 2004 Olympic games in Athens will cost less than 30 euros. The pricing policy for the Games, announced Wednesday, aims to encourage strong attendance by means of cheap admission and transparent ticketing procedures. The Athens 2004 Committee received approval for its pricing policy from the IOC executive committee in Mexico City by teleconference. Athens 2004 vows to employ the latest technology to make tickets available to all, for every event and in all price categories. There will be no free tickets or invitations. During the 17 days of the Games, athletes will compete in 28 Olympic sports at 37 venues. Ticket sales begin in May 2003, and the Athens committee hopes to make 183 million euros from the 5.3 million tickets on sale. All residents of the European Union and the eurozone have equal entitlement to buy tickets, according to EU law. They can order tickets from Athens 2004’s website, branches of Alpha Bank, any national Olympic committee (NOC) in the EU or eurozone except for Greece, or from officially appointed outlets. Non-EU or eurozone residents can get tickets from their local NOC or officially appointed ticket outlets. If demand exceeds the number of tickets available, an electronic lottery will be held to allot tickets at random, the same method that was used in Atlanta in 1996, Sydney in 2000 and Salt Lake City in 2002. In April next year, Athens 2004 will release an official guide which includes an order form, a detailed Games schedule and information about the different types of tickets. There are three types: individual tickets for a specific date and event; combinations of tickets for the same or different events on consecutive days; and a limited number of packages which include tickets for the best seats at the most popular events. Combination tickets will be sold at the listed price, but the packages will cost more than the sum total of the tickets they contain. All three types will be subject to a lottery if necessary. Athens 2004 is making the Games as accessible as possible to the general public by offering a wide range of prices geared to each sport, its popularity and the stage of the event. Sixty-eight percent of the tickets (3.6 million) will cost up to 30 euros; 55 percent (2.9 million) will cost up to 20 euros; and 38 percent (2 million) will cost 10-15 euros. Prices for the events range from 10-300 euros, and from 50-950 euros for the opening and closing ceremonies. The average ticket price for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens will be 34 percent cheaper than the average ticket for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.