Games ticket sales lagging

Tickets for specific seats in the Olympic Games went on sale yesterday, opening the third and final phase of sales for the August 13-29 Games. This phase will decide the success of the Athens Olympics, as only 1,833,919 tickets had been sold by April 16, organizers said. However, the value of these tickets comes to 137 million euros, or 75 percent of the 183 million budgeted. Marton Simitsek, a top Olympic planner, said organizers were working to fill the stadiums. The target was to achieve the 183-million-euro target which would mean 68 percent capacity. A total of 3 million tickets were set aside for the public and 2.3 million for the «Olympic family» of IOC officials, sponsors and others. It was not clear how sales were split between the two. Team sports for which the draw has not been made had sold the fewest tickets (with soccer at 9 percent capacity). Sailing on August 19 was at 99 percent and the Opening Ceremony at 97 percent.