No plans to give away unsold Games tickets

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 October, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 October, 2009, 12:00am

The government has no plans - as yet - to give away unsold tickets for the East Asian Games, according to the head of the Home Affairs Department.

Of 330,000 tickets available, the Jockey Club Charities Trust has bought 120,000 tickets for free distribution to students.

Members of the public have already bought 80,000.

The remaining 130,000 unsold tickets represent 61.9 per cent of the 210,000 tickets offered for public sale.

However, Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing said at a Legislative Council panel meeting yesterday that more people would buy tickets after the group draws for team ball games were completed in the middle of this month.

'Tickets which remain unsold are mainly for ball games such as football and rugby,' Tsang said.

'It is still early and the group draws have yet to be conducted.'

After people knew which teams were playing when, they would buy tickets, he said.

Tickets for diving, bowling, cue sports, BMX, dance sport, judo, tae kwon do and wushu are already sold out.

The Jockey Club would offer free tickets to students, while more than 10 institutions would also distribute them to minority groups, Tsang said. At present, the government had no plans to offer more free tickets.

Meanwhile, Director of Leisure and Cultural Services Betty Fung Ching Suk-yee said the tender period for the letting of the broadcasting contract for the East Asian Games 100-day countdown torch relay had been too short.

It was revealed that TVB and ATV had only three days in which to submit a tender for the contract before a July 3 deadline.

Legislators criticised the department's lack of planning. Fung said the department had only been given 20 days to plan coverage of the event before details were announced to the public in July.

'[A tender period] of two to three days will not occur again,' Fung said.

A problem with the running tracks at Tseung Kwan O sports ground has been fixed since it was reported in August, according to the department.

The running tracks were reopened for public use yesterday.

The government has spent nearly HK$400 million on construction of the sports ground, and Architectural Services Department project director Wilson Lee Hung-wai said the sub-contractor should have checked ground conditions before building the tracks.

He dismissed a suggestion that the problems had been caused by structures under the tracks.