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Director thanks public for patience to queue for tickets

After the completion of the public sale of the tickets around noon for the China’s Olympic Gold Medallists Extravaganza and the Meet-the-Public cum Sports Demonstrations through URBTIX that started this (August 21) morning, the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Thomas Chow, expressed his thanks to members of the public for their enthusiastic support and maintaining good order while queuing for tickets at the URBTIX outlets.

Mr Chow also made an apology to those who failed to buy the tickets because of the great demand and those who were affected by slow operation of the ticket selling computer terminals.

The tickets for the extravaganza and the meet-the-public cum sports demonstrations were available for sale at all 34 URBTIX outlets from 10am today.  URBTIX's Internet ticketing and telephone booking services were also in operation.

There are a total of some 5,600 seats at the four venues where the meet-the-public cum sports demonstrations will be held. Of them, tickets for about 4,330 seats were for sale to the public while the remaining 1,320 seats were set aside for the visiting China's Olympic Gold Medallists Delegation and their major sponsors (about 550); District Councils, district sports associations and the Community Sports Committee (about 290); National Sports Associations (about 270); and Sports Federation and Olympic Committee (about 100). About 110 seats or their areas have to be reserved for the operation of the equipment of the host TV live broadcasters and the media.

For the Hong Kong Stadium, the venue for staging the extravaganza, there are about 39,000 seats. Of them, about 1,520 seats are in suites let to contract hirers and 5,000 seats on the south spectator stands have to be set aside for setting up a stage. Of the remaining roughly 33,340 seats, 25,300 seats will be available for the public through the sale of the tickets and about 8,040 seats will be reserved for various sectors including volunteers of the Olympic and Paralympic equestrian events (about 2,400); the visiting Delegation and its major sponsors (about 1,900); uniformed groups (about 1,100); participants of the Summer Youth Programme (about 900); performing groups and volunteers (about 700); the underprivileged (600); volunteers of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games (about 300); and the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee (about 140).

Mr Chow apologised to the people who had to queue for some time before buying the tickets. But he hoped the public could understand that the demand was simply much higher than the supply. The public were keen to get the tickets at the 34 outlets, the Internet ticketing service and telephone booking of URBTIX.  The ticket selling computer terminals were under heavy stress in the earlier part.  However, after the tickets for the meet-the-public cum sports demonstrations were sold out, it was believed that quite a number of members of the public had stopped trying to buy tickets, and the computer system started to run smoothly in the latter part of the morning completing a transaction in about one minute or so.

In response to the slowness in the operation of the URBTIX outlets’ computer terminals at Tsuen Wan and Tuen Mun Town Halls, Mr Chow pointed out that all outlets’ computer terminals were linked to the central terminals for processing ticket sales. As all the tickets for the activities were sold simultaneously at the 34 outlets while the central terminal also had to process the transactions channeled through the Internet and the telephone booking at the same time, that had resulted in the very slow operation of the terminals in the earlier part of the morning. Records show that URBTIX could sell approximately 15,000 tickets each hour. And this time within two hours some 30,000 tickets had been sold, and the maximum capacity of the system was used.

He noted that even though some people could not watch the events at the venues, they could still see the gold medallists by watching TV broadcasts.

The China’s Olympic gold medallists meet-the-public and sports demonstrations will take place between 10.30am and 12noon next Saturday (August 30) at four LCSD venues: table tennis (at Shek Kip Mei Sports Centre); badminton (at Kowloon Park Sports Centre); diving (at Shing Mun Valley Swimming Pool in Tsuen Wan) and gymnastics (at Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wan Chai).

The China’s Gold Medalists Extravaganza will be staged at the Hong Kong Stadium from 5.30 to 7pm on the same day.

For enquiries about the programmes, please call 1823 (round-the-clock).

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