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Organisers bullish on ticket sellout

Athens: The 2004 Athens Olympic Games will be sold out despite delays in preparations, organisers said three weeks after the tickets went on sale.

“All tickets will be sold,” ATHOC Executive Director Marton Simitsek said on Tuesday. “The question is if the majority will be sold to Greeks.”

ATHOC has set aside three million tickets for public sale while another 2.3 million have already gone to the Games’ sponsors, national Olympic committees and TV rights holders.

Most requests were currently coming from Greece. “Last week we had two thirds from other European countries and one third from Greece,” Ticket Director Mary Manolopoulou said. “This can change every week.”

Simitsek would not reveal the volume of requests for tickets or the most favourite sports but said ATHOC was confident it will have sold 300,000 tickets — about 10 per cent — worth some 20 million euros by June 12.

Tickets went on worldwide sale in mid-May and spectators will have to put in their requests by June 12. All remaining tickets will go on sale between September 2003 and February.

Spectators from outside the European Union and Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein will have to purchase their tickets through their country’s national Olympic committee. “If this (300,000 tickets) is achieved by June 12 then we will have already exceeded sales of 100 million euros 14 months before the Games,” Simitsek said.

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