Athens 2004 ticket worries

Fears of low attendance at the August Olympics may force Greece to cut ticket prices, the government indicated on Saturday, one day before a report claimed sales to sponsors and international officials have fared very poorly. In an interview with Saturday’s Apoyevmatini daily, Deputy Culture Minister Fanni Palli-Petralia said that, for Greece, having packed stadiums during the Games was equally important as being ready to host the event. «Any government must show foresight,» she said when asked whether Greece will ask the International Olympic Committee to reduce ticket prices. According to the Athens 2004 organizing committee, only 1.8 million of the total 5.3 million tickets available have been sold. While deeply reluctant to release detailed data on sales figures, Athens 2004 says revenue from the tickets sold has already reached 75 percent of the 183 million euros budgeted. Meanwhile, the Sunday Ethnos claimed that sponsors and international officials have returned 66 percent of the tickets set aside for them.