Heavy Lifting - thoughts and web finds by an economist
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Monday, August 02, 2004

One, two, three, er...wait a second

This from the Associated Press:
More than 1,000 additional tickets for the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies will go on sale Monday.

The extra tickets for the ceremonies, as well as track and field events, were made available after the seats were installed in the main stadium and counted -- with 538 more than originally planned.

The stadium had faced years of delays and problems with putting in the seating.

So far, more than 2.2 million of the 5.3 million tickets have been sold. Organizers said sales have increased rapidly in the last few days with 12,000 to 13,000 tickets sold per day. (AP, 7/30).

This does not bode well for the upcoming Olympics. I had an email interview with a reporter from Newsweek, specifically about security expenditures in Athens, and she mentioned that the Greeks had obtained no private funding to help offset the expenditures incurred. This may be the reason for having more seats in the stadium than the architect(?) or the Greek Olympics officials thought there would be. Public spending on a project like the stadium might be expected to cause a bigger stadium than is optimal.

Given that there are 3.1 MILLION tickets waiting to be "sold" (likely to be given away in the end), perhaps the Greek Olympics could have been held in smaller, and less expensive, venues. At the rate they are selling tickets (12-13 thousand per day), the outstanding tickets would be finally sold in 238 days (just a bit late).

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