NEWS

Tickets selling faster by the day

One of the greatest concerns of organizers – that the Olympics would take place in mostly empty stadiums – has begun to disappear in recent days as ever greater numbers of tickets are being sold. With late-blooming enthusiasm for the Olympics, people have been queuing up for hours to buy tickets daily. «We were close to exceeding 90,000 yesterday, selling 89,317 tickets,» Athens 2004 Organizing Committee head Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki told a news conference, referring to Tuesday’s sales. «We have now exceeded 2.6 million tickets,» Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said. Organizers want to sell at least 3.4 million of the total 5.3 million tickets and they have been encouraged by the increasing number of tickets sold. Monday saw 84,000 tickets sold, a new record over the 54,000 sold on Friday, which itself was a record. «We have seen an increasing number of tickets sold each day,» said Michael Zacharatos, a spokesman for Athens 2004. «What is important is that for most of the sports, the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals are sold out and we are now looking to sell more tickets in the qualifying rounds,» he said. «It is very important that the Greek public be in the stadiums, cheering the athletes, welcoming the athletes.» He added that organizers had achieved 91 percent of their revenue target so far, which was 183 million euros. Commenting on claims that ticket scalpers might be offering tickets, government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said, «There have been no arrests for price gouging because, despite such claims, an investigation found no criminal activity.»