Olympic sale opens, but best seats HK$21,000 more than in Beijing
If you want one of the best seats at the opening of next year's London Olympics, you will have to pay HK$21,685 more than the equivalent at the 2008 Beijing Games cost, and be quick - only 22 opening ceremony tickets have been allocated to Hong Kong.
The best tickets are HK$26,685, compared to HK$5,000 at the Beijing Games. The cheapest are HK$2,342.
China Travel Service, appointed by the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games to sell tickets, has only 22 tickets for the opening ceremony and 12 for the closing ceremony. And just 1,858 of the London Games' 8.8 million tickets have been allocated to the city.
Applications for tickets - which can be made online or at CTS branches - open today and close on May 11. Applicants must be Hong Kong residents aged 16 or above, and may make only one application.
Each person can apply for up to four tickets each in up to five events, plus two tickets for either the opening or closing ceremony.
For sessions where demand exceeds supply, CTS will allocate tickets through a computerised ballot on May 18. Successful applicants will be notified via e-mail, fax or letter before May 31 and will receive their tickets by June 30.
The 30th Summer Olympic Games will be held in London from July 27 to August 12.
The 12 closing ceremony tickets available range from HK$2,342 to HK$20,027, and those for sports events from HK$314 to HK$9,949.
The sports with the most tickets available for Hongkongers are badminton, with more than 400, and table tennis and athletics, with more than 300 each. Fewer than 200 tickets are available for diving and just 30 for gymnastics.
CTS asked for almost 6,500 tickets from London, but received less than 30 per cent, 1,858 tickets.
For the 2008 Olympics, the authorised ticket reseller bagged about 180,000 tickets.
CTS general manager Ng Hi-on said that because Beijing was closer to Hong Kong than London, it was more appealing to Hongkongers.
'It's normal to get fewer tickets from a city far away,' he said. 'We got even fewer tickets for the Games in Athens eight years ago.'
CTS would continue to fight for more tickets, Ng said.
Timothy Fok Tsun-ting, president of the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, said: 'We will try our best to get more tickets to encourage more Hong Kong people to get involved in the most popular sports event in the world.'
Ng said CTS would reserve a small portion of tickets to go with package tours for the London Games.
Any unsold tickets would be available for sale via the CTS website and branches from July 4.