More than 7 million tickets for the Beijing 2008 Olympics will go on sale in 2007, organisers for the Summer Games announced on Wednesday.
The tickets will range in price from 30 yuan ($3.82; euro2.91) to 5,000 yuan ($638; euro485), the Beijing Organising Committee said in a statement.
It did not say where the tickets would be sold but said that details on the ticketing program would be released in 2007. BOCOG said 58 percent of all the tickets would cost 100 yuan ($12.75; euro9.70) or less, in line with efforts to make the Olympics affordable to average Chinese citizens.
The International Olympic Committee has said it wanted to ensure that the tickets were not priced out of the range of a typical Chinese fan, while BOCOG said they had to reflect "the characteristics of both the Olympic Games and their host country." According to the National Statistics Bureau, the average monthly wage for an urban Beijing resident last year was 2,500 yuan ($365; euro277). Beijing and Shanghai residents are the richest in the country and make drastically more than rural workers, who average about 3,255 yuan a year ($417; euro317).
The most expensive tickets will be for the opening ceremony on the evening of August 8, 2006, which will cost 5,000 yuan. The cheapest tickets for that event will be 200 yuan ($25; euro20). Ticket prices for the closing ceremony will range from 150 yuan ($19; euro15) to 3,000 yuan ($382; euro300).
"China is a developing country, and the income of the general public is lower than that of Sydney and Athens," BOCOG said, adding the highest priced ticket for the opening ceremony would be 50 percent less than the highest priced ticket in Athens. Ticket prices for one of the 28 sports will range from 30 yuan ($3.82; euro2.91) to 1,000 yuan ($127.50; euro96.98), about 30 percent of what they were in 2004 in Athens, it said.
BOCOG said about 14 percent of the available tickets would be reserved for Chinese students, and that the domestic general public will have access to least 50 percent of all available tickets. The rest will go to sponsors, the IOC, national Olympic bodies and international sports federations.
"The IOC is very pleased that BOCOG has found an affordable ticketing program, which will maximize the opportunity for the Chinese public to enjoy the Games, whilst balancing with interest from the international community," the IOC said in the statement.