Before the games started, buying Olympics tickets was thought to be impossible and/or vastly expensive- instead it seems to be easier than getting a table at Spicy Joint.
Writing from Beijing 2008 with a fistful of used ticket stubs, and a pocketful of money left over to buy more, Ben Ross gives these tips on finding seats for the last few days:
- Pick an event and show up at the venue an hour early.
- Arrive at the event knowing you may be walking around aimlessly for the next hour or two scavenging for a ticket. Patience is a must.
- Be aware that there is probably a 15% chance you will not get in to the event at all. more if Kobe, Yao Ming, Phelps, or
Liu Xiangwill be competing that day.
- Find an area near one of the gates where spectators who have just arrived are walking in.
- If you see more than one yellow bull (the Chinese term for a ticket scalper / tout) in the vicinity, find a new location.
- Know the price of a face value ticket, and have the money (exact change) in hand ready to pay.
- Approach people heading towards the venue, and politely ask them if they have an extra ticket to sell. It doesn’t hurt to emphasize the fact that you actually want to see the event
- If the event has already started and you still don’t have a ticket, don’t panic. From the minute the competition starts, the value of tickets drops rapidly.
- Go alone. Olympic tickets were originally sold in pairs, Finding two tickets together is hard, three or more tickets virtually impossible. For some more low-demand events (i.e. baseball and beach volleyball) you can usually sit wherever you want once you enter the stadium.
Full post, and more from Beijing here
Our own experience from Beijing suggests that hanging out in bars brings rewards, particularly a bar called Old Town Roses which seemed to be the HQ of some kind of ticket agency.