The NY Times had a recent article in its travel section about the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
ALTHOUGH the 2008 Summer Olympics, being held in Beijing from Aug. 8 until Aug. 24, are still a full year away, making plans to attend the Games has already come down to a roulettelike gamble of hurry-up-and-wait, with choices narrowing as time goes by.
The most important task is securing tickets, which can be difficult. Only a certain number of tickets are allocated to each country, and direct ticket-buying in each is only available to local residents. Unfortunately, the cutoff date for entering the lottery to reserve the exact tickets you want was June 30. But, though there are few guarantees of actually scoring a seat, there are other options if you’re willing to compromise on price or on which events you attend.
For starters, keep tabs on CoSport (877-457-4647; www.cosport.com), a tour operator and the sole official 2008 ticket agent in the United States. Early reservations are being confirmed and tickets allocated now through September; yet although tickets to more popular events might be hard to come by, whatever is left will be sold live, first come first served, starting this October. Exact sale dates are unconfirmed, so keep checking for updates. Tickets range from $5 for events like baseball to $773 for the opening ceremonies, said Adam Wixted, a spokesman for CoSport. . . .
One reason for the exceptionally high demand already seen for Beijing’s Olympics is the comparative affordability of tickets, said Don Vaccaro, chief executive of TicketLiquidator. “Beijing is tougher because they took special care and effort to make the pricing low enough to make sure that most of the events — if not all of the events — would sell out,” he said. “They didn’t want what happened in Torino — where Olympians were playing to far less than packed houses — to happen in Beijing.”
The article notes that the most expensive elements of a Summer Olympics trip will likely be airfare and accommodation, where demand will most quickly approach supply. But if you will already be in China, Russia, or Asia and could arrange land or sea travel to Beijing, or if you could plan the Olympics into part of a larger trip that would allow you to arrive or leave outside of the peak travel period, you might find incorporating the world’s largest amateur sporting event easier than you imagined. Just something to start considering before U.S. leftover tickets go on sale in October.