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Olympic Families - question from a parent

Seattle, Washington
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193 posts
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Olympic Families - question from a parent

TICKET SELLERS, HOTELS, GUIDES ~ DO NOT POST HERE!!!!!

We are having an amazingly difficult time getting tickets to watch our daughters compete (synchronized swimming). We finally were allotted 2 tickets per athlete for the events they compete in but no tickets were available beyond that - for grandparents, siblings, etc. (we all paid for the tickets in advance-including the extras for friends and family-to our national organization last April as directed by the USOC) In addition, the tickets we parents have been given are not all together in a block so we can sit together as a group and cheer for our girls, but are scattered in twos throughout the 17,000 seats in the water cube venue.

We all tried to buy tickets in the various allotments on cosport (our official ticket seller) but there were no synchronized swimming tickets available for purchase during any of the sales.

I'm just curious to know if the family members of other athletes throughout the world are having the same issues? (we're from the USA) Where are you from, and what sport is your athlete competing in?

We're trying to figure out if there is any way to push the issue. Many of the extended family members already bought their non-refundable airline tickets and paid their non-refundable hotel deposits based on the fact that we had paid for our tickets in advance....who would have ever thought that we wouldn't get those tickets!! I guess we were naive but we're first time Olympic attendees....

Would love to hear what other families experiences are with the tickets...and any suggestions for pushing the issue with the Beijing organizing committee (the ones who allocated the tickets) other than contacting our local NBC news affiliates (since NBC is broadcasting the Olympics in the US)

Thanks....

1. Re: Olympic Families - question from a parent

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Removed on: 08 April 2008, 14:40
Calgary, Alberta
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2. Re: Olympic Families - question from a parent

We've had a very similar experience trying to get tickets via Cosport in Canada for men's artistic gymnastics. We even had a friend in China try to get tickets thru the Chinese system and no luck. Right now we have tickets for two out of three preliminaries with no guarantee that we have the round where Canada and my nephew will compete. No luck on any other gymnastics events. We were able to get tickets in Athens about 4 weeks before the Games again thru Cosport so I'm not sure what the issue is for Beijing. Its my understanding that the Canadian gymnastics organization did not promise tickets to any of the athetes' families although according to my sister they have said they will try to help. We have flights and accomodation booked and have decided we'll go and hope for the best. May end up watching the events on t.v. at "Canada House". Good luck to your daughters and I hope you and your family are all able to be there to cheer them on.

3. Re: Olympic Families - question from a parent

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff removed this post because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum posting guidelines with prohibiting self-promotional advertising or solicitation.

We ask all of our members to keep their forum messages free of self-promoting advertisements or solicitation of any kind - members affiliated with any tourism-related business should not include commercial contact information or URLs in their forum messages.

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Removed on: 15 May 2008, 03:44
Seattle, Washington
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193 posts
6 reviews
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4. Re: Olympic Families - question from a parent

"....have you tried the other official tour operators that are chosen by the various sports federations in the US?"

Ioneupp....

I am not aware of any official tour operators selling individual tickets; our National organization has not advised us of anything other than cosport. Do you have any names? And do they sell tickets, as opposed to packages which include tickets?

Seattle, Washington
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193 posts
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5. Re: Olympic Families - question from a parent

Ione...another post from you recommends Ludus Tours but they do not seem to include any choice of tickets and in addition are exorbitant in their prices (as are most other package tour operators)

Don't see that they have any bargains...any other names that you can recommend?

Seriously...appreciate any advice

Atlanta, Georgia
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6. Re: Olympic Families - question from a parent

my direct Olympic experience is a little dated (Atlanta in 1996), but we found there were lots of extra tickets floating around when it came right down to the day of the event. Very easy to scalp at very little above the posted price. I don't know what the Chinese are doing to discourage/encourage scalping, but once the games got started, everyone knew where to go (in addition to right outside the venue) to get tix.

The other interesting factoid: lots and lots of tickets were pre-sold in packages to sponsors, who in turn gave them to advertisers and other guests....some of whom had no interest whatsoever in those events.

My advice: ask everyone you meet if they know anyone who has synchronized swimming tickets, explain that you're a family member, and see if anyone can hook you up--

Beijing, China
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7. Re: Olympic Families - question from a parent

Sync swimming is very very difficult to get, as it is popular with the Chinese and they are in the running to medal. There were almost no SY tickets available in the Chinese Phase 2 sale and supposedly none at all in the upcoming Phase 3 sale.

I know at most/all previous Olympics, people had a lot of luck getting last minute event tickets either from the box office or from resellers/scalpers. I think that is going to be unlikely in Beijing--there just won't be that many loose tickets at the official outlets, and scalping is almost certainly not going to be allowed near the venues. You may be able to find resellers through the grapevine, maybe hanging around hotels, etc. but they will be harder to locate for the visitor. Try to do as much networking as you can before you arrive in Beijing, and continue to accost everyone you meet with ticket requests, even after you arrive! Or cough up the cash and go to a legit ticket broker.

As for sponsor's tickets, what occurred in the past is apparently out the window for Beijing. Although the sponsors have their own allotment separate from the public's, they still have to request the event tickets they want, without 100% guarantee of success. They are also VERY unhappy about the situation.

A lot of popular event tickets seem to be "leaking" out of the promised public realm and heading out the back door to Chinese gov't officials, retired military, etc. Even last year, my Chinese friends predicted this is what would happen. The domestic Chinese aren't having much luck getting tickets to hot events, either.

Cardiff, United...
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8. Re: Olympic Families - question from a parent

The VIPs annoy me.

In Barcelona there was like 500 vip seats for the final of the womens all around gymnastics final.

One person in the seat( Michael Jordan)

Re tickets i also think you will get themm out there.

There are sites selling tickets at inflated prices which you may want to use if u are desperate.

I sincerely hope all those going to watch family friends get tickets.

Seattle, Washington
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193 posts
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9. Re: Olympic Families - question from a parent

Thanks, kvchina. Although in the USA synchro tickets would be almost free....I keep trying to tell the "powers" that in other parts of the world it's a big deal. They keep insisting that synchro is not a hot ticket and that they should be available soon.

The national swimming organizations seem to have no influence whatsoever. I don't know where those tickets are going...but my friend in Beijing has been unable to buy any tickets at all in the last two allotments.

I hate the thought of having to try to buy tickets on the street once we're in Beijing....but it may come to that. Wonder how the food will be in Chinese prison?

Beijing, China
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10. Re: Olympic Families - question from a parent

Yeah, synchro swimming is very big in Asia and Europe, it's only in North America that it seems to be a "joke sport." I attended the recent Good Luck Beijing Olympic Qualifying Event in synchro, and while I don't personally very interesting to watch, I appreciate the difficulty and respect the athletes.

As for finding tickets once you arrive in Beijing, never give up hope. On the subject of dealing with scalpers, it is unlikely you will have to experience Chinese prison food! Allow me to relate the experience of one foreigner (who I don't personally know) who tried to purchase from a scalper on the street, for one of the sessions at aforementioned synchro event. (Similar to Olympic tickets, it had been announced that the test events in the Good Luck Beijing series would have the same anti-scalping policy.)

Finding tickets sold out at the box office, she and a friend found a nearby Chinese woman reselling, and once money changed hands, three undercover police swooped on them and took them for a ride in the police car to the nearby station. I believe the foreigner reported the police as pretty friendly. She had to make a statement and deal with paperwork, which took her a couple of hours, but then was given her money back and sent on her way. I'm sure things didn't go as well for the scalper. I believe this is the most likely scenario for any foreigner caught on the purchasing end of the deal during the Olympics--technically, it's not illegal to buy, but is illegal to RESELL tickets AT A MARKUP. It's not illegal to resell tickets at or below face value.

Two possibilities for purchasing tickets on the secondary once in Beijing: (a) find a source reasonably in advance of the event, and do the transaction in a low-key manner at a hotel lobby, cafe, etc. (b) purchase the ticket at face value, and find a way--with reseller mutual agreement--to make a "donation" independently to the reseller <cough, cough>. Creativity is encouraged.