The Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee announced today on its web site that "Tickets to watch competitive events of the 2008 Games in Olympic venues in Beijing are now sold out," which is a very long way of saying that tickets are sold out (who do they have writing these press releases?). This comes days after an estimated 30,000 would-be ticket buyers stampeded a ticket center hoping to snatch the last available tickets. Police were seen kicking and pushing people as they pressed through metal barriers and at least one journalist was detained breifly in that altercation. Earlier this week the United States Olympic Committee claimed that American ticket buyers had been defrauded by two web sites that had sold bogus Olympic tickets, charging credit cards for tickets that were never mailed.
This is all good news for Olympic organizers. Tickets have never sold out at any previous Olympics. Four years ago it was plainly visible on TV that large sections of the seating areas at many venues in Athens were conspicuously empty. More than half of the tickets for the Beijing Olympics cost $12.90 or less. The most expensive are for the opening ceremonies. Those tickets are listed at $645, though people are reportedly offering them for resale online for several thousand dollars.