Tickets for the Olympics have been challenge. If you did not think ahead like me, you’ve got to scramble in a number of different ways to get them. My first try was to check the standard web sites. www.cosport.com is the official distributor of Olympic tickets for USA, Australia and the European Union. These were sold out. Next was on line auctions on e-bay, were I obtained a couple of pairs for under $100. No too bad.
Upon arrival is when it got interesting. It is illegal to sell tickets for greater than face value. The local folks have interesting way of working this. Most ticket seller hang out and certain entrances to the Olympic Village. They don’t really advertise this, you have to find them. Being as discreet as possible, you approach someone who looks like they have tickets to sell. After asking, they stare at you for a couple of minutes determining if you might be with the authorities. If you pass the test, they tell you what events they have and what they are asking. Then, the negotiation begins. When the price is agreed, money is collect by a second person and the tickets are handed over by a third person. The sellers purposely spread things out in case they are caught. I chose not to purchase by this method, as the prices were totally unreasonable.
Surprisingly, cosport.com started releasing tickets during the Olympics. By going to their web site, a limited number of tickets were being released each day at face value! The only hassle was to pick up in person at an office building in downtown Beijing. It the equivalent of downtown Denver in terms of distance and convenience, but at least I got tickets at a reasonable price.
Then, just as surprisingly, the site stopped posting tickets. Who knows what’s going on?
This morning was a free event to view the woman’s marathon. The race started and doubled back through Tiananmen Square providing two chances to view and take photos. Tonight I will be at the track and field events (officially known as ‘athletics’) in the massive Birds Nest Stadium.