Over 3 million tickets bought

Four days into the Olympics, Athens 2004 organizers said yesterday that some 60 percent of the 5.3 million tickets put on sale have been bought so far. The organizing committee’s executive director, Marton Simitsek, told journalists he expected sales to exceed 3.5 million tickets by the end of the Games, on August 29. So far, he said, 3,002,852 tickets have been sold, bringing revenue to 181 million euros – just 2 million euros short of the total ticket revenue target set by Athens 2004 officials before the Olympics. «We believe that over the next few days, all the stadiums will fill up,» he said, adding that capacity crowds were expected for several of yesterday’s evening events. Simitsek said Athens sales have already exceeded those of Seoul in 1988 and Barcelona in 1992. Dismissing fears that spectator turnout might prove embarrassingly low at several events, government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said the government does not propose to buy up tickets.

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