Friday, August 15, 2008

This just in ... reporters queue all night for tickets

Reporters at the Beijing International Media Center have been putting in a lot of extra hours lately, not only on their stories, but also queuing up to buy Games tickets.

At 10 am each day, about 200 tickets go on sale there on a first come, first served basis.

Tao Jing, from the Xinhua News Agency's Jiangsu bureau, said he arrived at the sales office at 3 am yesterday, but even then he was only 14th in line.

"That's not bad, though. The guy at the front got here at 9 pm last night," he said.

Late-night vigils have become commonplace at the BIMC. Reporters from around the world sit together and work on their stories as they wait in line.

The daily quota at the center includes about 100 "new" tickets - for events starting a week later - and about 100 "old" tickets - anything left over from the previous issues of "new" ones.

Each reporter is allowed to buy just one new ticket during the Games, but can purchase up to two old ones per day.

Tickets for events at the Water Cube and the Bird's Nest are the most popular, but each reporter has their own idea of the "dream ticket", Tao said.

He said he and his colleagues have been concentrating solely on events in which athletes from Jiangsu province, such as Chen Yanqing and Xiao Qin, are competing.

Tao said his task yesterday was to secure a ticket to see Chen Ruolin try for a second gold in the 10 m individual diving event on Thursday.

But he was out of luck.

"I can understand that. Tickets for the Water Cube are the most popular," he said.

Source: China Daily

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