jump to navigation

Beijing unveils Olympic ticket prices November 30, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Sports.

Beijing promised an affordable Olympics in 2008 with the announcement yesterday of ticket prices as low as a 10th of those charged in Athens. Most spectators will pay no more than 100 yuan (£6.50), under a ticketing policy that reflects China’s low average income.

The first of 7m tickets will go on sale next year. Executive seats for the opening ceremony will cost 5,000 yuan – about half the top rate in Greece two years ago. Elsewhere, tickets will be as little as 30 yuan, 10% of the lowest rate in Athens, with 14% of seats reserved for students.

For the millions of farmers living on less than 50 pence a day an Olympic day out will still be expensive. But for most city dwellers the prices are well within their incomes. The average monthly wage for a Beijing resident last year was 2,500 yuan.

For China the 2008 Olympics are about a lot more than making money. They are a coming of age party. In bidding for the games Beijing forecast a modest operating profit of $19m on revenues of $1.6bn, mostly from sponsorship and the sale of broadcast rights. In addition, the government is spending tens of billions of dollars on a huge facelift for the city, including new stadiums, roads and railways.

The prices compare well with concerts for big rock stars, but they are still well above those for football matches. The cheapest tickets for Beijing Guo’an – the capital’s top team – are just 10 yuan.

Sports fans are willing to pay a little extra. “The prices are reasonable,” said Chen Xin, 25, a Beijing resident. “I will definitely go to see at least one Olympic event. After all, I will probably never get another chance in my life.”

%d bloggers like this: