Expensive 2010 packages selling out fast
If people are cutting spending on luxury items in these uncertain economic times, they're not doing it on tickets to the Olympic Games.
With just over a week to go in the first phase of ticket sales, packages to the 2010 Olympics are selling out and individual requests are increasing daily.
Around 120 packages that contained tickets to the gold-medal men's hockey game were gone two weeks after they went on sale, said Jean-Paul Modde, the president of CoSport, the official hospitality provider for the Vancouver Olympics.
Packages that include tickets to the opening ceremonies are also selling quickly.
Modde said sales have been brisker than expected, in spite of the economic uncertainty facing the world.
"This is not something that somebody wakes up on Friday morning and says, `oh you know what, let's buy an Olympic package today,"' said Modde.
"People have been planning this for a long time and they know that things are going to turn around."
The packages include other event tickets, accommodation and in some cases, transportation and meals.
They range in price from $3,800 to $34,500.
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Packages are different than the sale of individual tickets for the Games because they are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. They remain on sale until there are none left.
Individual tickets are purchased by filling out request forms that are being accepted until Nov. 7. If demand outstrips the number of tickets available, they'll be allocated by lottery.
Once the lottery phase finishes, people who submitted applications will be able to buy leftover tickets.
As venue arrangements are finalized, more tickets may be available so second and third phases of sales will be held next year and in 2010.
In addition to the packages, CoSport manages the sale of individual tickets in several countries outside Canada and says demand remains high, even in the United States.
There, the most requests are coming from the northwest region and California.
Vancouver Olympic organizers, who manage the sale of individual tickets in Canada themselves, say demand has also been higher than expected at this point in the process.
The ticketing page of the Olympic website has gotten 2.4 million hits.
People in Ontario, Alberta and B.C. are requesting more tickets than anyone else, though exact sales figures haven't been released, and more events are expected to go to lottery than organizers previously thought.
They are recommending people look at attending more preliminary competitions for the chance to see great athletes at far cheaper prices than a pro-sport ticket.
Olympic organizers are also selling ticket packages during the first request phase but those are only ticket bundles and don't include accommodation.
Package offers from brokers who aren't officially connected to the 2010 Games are already popping up online as well.
One such company offering packages is Roadtrips Inc., a Winnipeg-based outfit currently being sued in the U.S. for failing to deliver tickets to the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics.
Roadtrips has said it has a guaranteed source of tickets for the 2010 Games but declined to disclose the source.
A spokeswoman for the company said they have already sold packages for 2010 but declined to say how many.